Netflix denies purchase of phimmoi domain name
Vietnamese users were surprised when they were redirected to Netflix.com when they tried to access phimmoi.net, a website that provides pirated movies.
When typing or copying the URL of phimmoi.net on Facebook, the social network’s function of previewing content also gave images of Netflix.
It’s unclear why the users of phimmoi, an unlicensed website, were redirected to a provider of copyrighted films. Phimmoi was listed among the top 20 websites with the highest number of visits in Vietnam, about 60-100 million a month. Netflix only provides copyrighted products, to 150,000 users in the country.
In late August, the investigation agency of the HCM City Police filed charges in a criminal case over copyright infringement related to phimmoi.net.
Investigators found that since 2014, one man in Lam Dong province has been operating a website showing movies for free on the internet. He hired two individuals with high IT qualifications in Dong Nai province to develop, administer and operate the website.
The team copied, exploited, used, broadcasted and disseminated movie products to the public without the consent of copyright holders. Phimmoi was also engaged in illegally advertising products and services on copyrighted films in order to gain illicit profits, which were large amounts of money.
This is the first criminal prosecution case against a website providing pirated movies in Vietnam. After phimmoi.net was blocked, the owner of the website continued providing services with other domain names, such as Phimmoiz.net, Phimmoizz.net, iphimmoi.net or ephimmoi.net most recently, maintaining illegal activities.
The information about redirection to Netflix.com caused a rumor hat Netflix had bought the phimmoi.net domain name.
However, a spokesman for Netflix, contacted by VietNamNet, denied this. “No business of Netflix has bought the phimmoi.net’s domain name,” the spokesman said.
On November 30, it was impossible to access phimmoi.net, even with a VPN. However, when typing the URL of phimmoi.net on Facebook, one still could see the information about Netflix’s website on previewed links.
In related news, in mid-November, Netflix announced the launch of free Netflix package reserved for Vietnamese users. Vietnam is the first market in Asia and one of a few markets in the world where Netflix is offering a free package.
This service package is specifically offered to Android users. Users need to be over 18 years old and have never had Netflix accounts to be eligible. They just need to register via phone or email.
With the explosion of online movie platforms, the management of online movies is much more difficult.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper, the HCM City police agency has initiated a criminal case and is investigating www.phimmoi.net for copyright infringement.