Recent months have seen three of the Middle East's largest online pirate sites being taken down ny the authorities. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: One of the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest pirate online platforms, the Shahed4U, has been shut down by the Egyptian authorities. The platform was based in Alexandria and Cairo had access to 68,000 pirated TV series titles and 18,700 film titles streaming.

The service drew a ‘staggering’ 155 million visits per month (across its 118 domains and multiple ‘copycat sites’). It had been operating since 2015. The closing down Shahed4U follows those of piracy sites Egybest and MyCima. The latest action ‘marks the closure of the three top piracy networks in the MENA region and Arabic speaking countries globally’.

The Egyptian authorities were helped in the endeavour by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the world’s leading anti-piracy coalition. “This spate of unprecedented ACE actions in the MENA region underscores our ever-expanding global reach and our growing relationships with law enforcement and local industry around the world,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association and Chairman of ACE.

“Developing and deepening these local and regional connections, while building on the MPA’s decades of counter-piracy experience, is core to ACE’s global goal of eradicating the illegal distribution of content and protecting the legal marketplace for content creators.”