A lot of action against piracy recently. Some of the most popular sites went down, and now TorrentFreak reported it might be coming for the Nyaa.si website as well. According to the website, the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPA) delivered cease-and-desist letters to several individuals back in September. They are people from North America, Europe, and Australia who the MPA believes are associated with and can lead to the Nyaa shutdown.
Nyaa.si came after Nyaa.se (which was kicked out by Cloudflare in 2018 for alleged abuse of its copyright systems, a claim they denied) and has become one of the most widely used websites for illegal downloading of content. The letters delivered by the MPA reportedly contained samples of copyright infringement by the website. They also state that they caused “significant, irreparable damage” to the copyright holders.
TorrentFreak couldn’t confirm whether the people who were contacted are really involved with the website. However, they did say they all participated in creating fansubs which appeared on there. At some point. Maybe that’s why the MPA is convinced they have the power to shut it down. In addition to that, they also asked for cash settlements to avoid costly legal action. According to the linked post, the numbers are in tens of thousands of dollars.
The letters apparently happened in September. However, the website is still up as of November 9th. It’s unclear whether the individuals are negotiating with the MPA or not at all related to Nyaa. There is a tweet from an account linked to the website though. It reads:
[To briefly address this, we have no plans to shutdown or quit at this time. If we do choose to shutdown eventually we will make a public database dump for any successor entity to use, we will not be just disappearing like our predecessor site leaving everyone else on their own.]
Piracy has always been a controversial topic. Many argue that it happens because a lot of countries don’t have access to legal ways to enjoy content. Some also add that it’s because they can’t afford to pay for multiple services to watch everything they’d like. Another common argument is that it helps spread interest in content. More specifically, that it actually helped spread anime internationally. It obviously harms the copyright holders financially if people pirate something instead of buying it. But the argument goes that many countries wouldn’t even know about it if wasn’t for the fansubbing and piracy.
To conclude, I hope that we can eventually watch all anime legally in an easily accessible way. I just don’t see it happening soon as it involves different companies and collaboration is unlikely. It’s also hard to eradicate as well, because a Nyaa shutdown could just lead to another clone. Regardless, I hope everyone work towards it and legal platforms become more accessible to the fans. Then maybe they’ll prefer them to the illegal sites ridden with ads and virtual threats.