donations-pleaSanta doesn’t have much in his stocking this year for pirate website

Not to sound to be a grinch, but I must say it warms my heart during this holiday season to see pirate websites on the verge of closure, begging for donations.  I wrote about x264.bb site losing access to PayPal and turning to Bitcoin as a source of donations.  Well, apparently that isn’t going too well because, according to an email received today, the site is on the verge of closing due to lack of funds.

Due to insufficient funding from donation, we deeply regret to inform that x264-BB might not be able to survive should the donations are not coming in by the end of December 2013. We hate to see this great community die off, therefore we are seeking for everyone’s help now, kindly donate generously to help keep this website alive.

Alternatively, should there be any individual with ample monetary support who wishes to buy over x264-BB and able to support x264-BB for long term, send an email to: [email protected] with your offer price, please bear in mind that we will only sell off x264-BB as the last resort. All offers must be at logical prices and we will make the final decision for the sell-off at our sole discretion.

Now, before you get all teary-eyed over their possible demise, you should know that this site is in the business of piracy.  Basically it offers its members a place to “share” download links  and earn money via cyberlocker affiliate accounts.  The more downloads forum users attract to their links, the more they earn.  The site, which at one point boasted having 100k member, displayed advertising in the past, but now seems to depend primarily on donations for their survival.  They explain their need for donations as follows:

Dear all, The Staff here at x264-BB truly value and appreciate the support that you all provide as members. With your help we have seen this community grow to where we are now fast approaching 100k members! Hard to believe for those who were here with us from the very start to partake in our humble beginning, but with your constant support we have been able to reach milestones. It would honor us if you would continue to support x264-BB through a small contribution.

This forum, and others like it, thrived during Megaupload (and other cyberlocker’s heyday).  When Megaupload was taken offline by the feds, cyberlocker sites that mirrored its business model fell like dominoes as their operators chose not to suffer the same fate as Kim Dotcom.   Now that the black market business model of paying affiliates to upload stolen content is fading, so too it seems is this pirate eco-system. Another factor in x264’s difficulties is due to the cornucopia of legit streaming sites now available.   Just goes to show you that with a little nudge from law enforcement, legit sites can compete and win back the market.

Hopefully all the folks at x264 will get in their Xmas stocking is a lump of coal.