To avoid enforcement efforts, pirate sites often go to extremes to hide themselves from rightsholders and authorities.
Increasingly, this also means that they use various encryption technologies to increase their resilience and anonymity.
Several of these techniques are highlighted in a new report published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
The report gives a broad overview of the business models that are used to illegally exploit intellectual property. This includes websites dedicated to counterfeit goods, but also online piracy hubs such as torrent sites and file-hosting platforms.
EUIPO hopes that mapping out these business models will help to counter the ongoing threat they face.
“The study will provide enhanced understanding to policymakers, civil society and private businesses. At the same time, it will help to identify and better understand the range of responses necessary to tackle the challenge of large scale online IPR infringements,” EUIPO notes.
According to the research, several infringing business models rely on encryption-based technologies. The Tor network and Bitcoin, for example, are repeatedly mentioned as part of this “shadow landscape”.
“It more and more relies on new encrypted technologies like the TOR