February 18, 2022
On February 18, 2022, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) praised the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for its release of the 2021 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, also known as the Notorious Markets List, which identified 42 online markets and 35 physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.
ESA submitted comments to USTR highlighting examples of notorious online markets in the linking, hosting and torrent indexing spaces, sites specializing in unauthorized digital goods (UDGs) and notorious physical markets in Brazil and Mexico.
The 2021 USTR report included a number of online and physical markets of concern that were identified in ESA’s submission. For example, the report highlights both 1fichier.com, a French-based cyberlocker that hosts and disseminates hundreds of unauthorized copies of recent ESA member video game titles, and MPGH.net, a website site that offers “several hundred thousand” free cheats to over 4 million users, as well as tutorials and a marketplace where users can buy and sell cheats, accounts and in-game items.
The report also included three physical markets in Mexico identified by ESA that consistently offer counterfeit consoles and gaming accessories, circumvention devices, modification chips and services and unauthorized copies of member game titles.
Global piracy negatively affects legitimate markets, businesses and consumers. As such, USTR’s annual Notorious Markets List is a critical tool for shining a spotlight on illegal and harmful markets and promoting legal access to content and products by consumers.