For years, anti-piracy agencies have been scouring the internet searching for websites providing illegal access to films and television shows. Many such sites were shut down and fined, either accepting defeat or stealthily jumping from domain to domain hoping to avoid further retaliation.
And then there’s Portugal’s favorite, Pobre.tv, which appears to have vanished off the face of the internet as if absorbed into some type of domain-based Bermuda Triangle.
What was once a thriving pirating streaming agency supplying pirates with thousands of video selections, has now mysteriously disappeared, leaving users with nothing but speculation as to why. So far, no anti-piracy group has come forward to claim responsibility, and Pobre.tv operators are nowhere to be found.
Pobre.tv was a top contender in the realm of streaming platforms used in Portugal, outperforming the likes of Netflix, HBO, and Disney. According to sources, it ranked in second place, behind YouTube, in a list of the top 24 most frequently used sites in the country.
Millions of users who would snag free (aka stolen) entertainment from Pobre.tv are at a loss as to what happened, as are authorities. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has spent the past year trying to identify Pobre.tv operators to no avail. The pirating evaded ACE by jumping around to different domains, even after receiving multiple DMCA subpoenas.
That is until recently, when it went offline completely, leaving even the ACE wondering why Pobre.tv finally complied with demands to shut down and provide information on its customer base. Having the site shut down was ACE’s goal, although they don’t appear to have been the official cause. However, continued pressure on Pobre.tv is likely to have greatly contributed to its decision to shut down.
The operators have yet to come forward and all traces of their former presence on various websites have been erased. Perhaps they felt the inevitable was looming and decided to shut down to keep their anonymity while also protecting their supporters from further retaliation from authorities.
Pobre.tv appears to be permanently shut down, with both users and authorities wondering when or if it will resurface.