The website made it possible to download movies, TV series, music, as well as video games illegally.
Five people were arrested Monday and are still in custody Tuesday morning at police offices in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), they are five administrators of the site, who are said to have lived “for a while” in Toulouse.
According to the Gendarmerie, the damage caused to the beneficiaries by Zone Téléchargement is estimated at EUR75 million. The site accounted for an average of 3.7 million downloads per month.
Meanwhile, the closure of the piracy site generated over 50,000 messages on Twitter on Monday night, making it one of the most discussed topics on the social network. Not surprisingly, most people have expressed disappointment of the closure.
During the past few months, a number of pirate sites were closed down, including Allostreaming, DPStream, The Pirate Bay and T411. In France, such websites are extremely popular – last May, over 10 million French people visited one of the top 15 online piracy sites.
French copyright collecting society SACEM, which represents the authors and publishers of music in France, has long demanded sanctions against the portal. Hadopi, the institution that fights against illegal downloading in France, is powerless against such platforms, because it can only act against peer-to-peer sites of the torrent type. Zone Téléchargement was not using P2P technology for its downloads.
The only way for rights holders to fight against direct download or streaming platforms is to prosecute the website owners or to force internet service providers to block access to them.