As most of you probably already know, Egypt’s top pirated streaming website, Egybest, has shut down. This caused numerous debates over the reason why it did, but Egybest might have hinted the reason in their last Facebook post.
What is Egybest?
Egybest is a pirated Egyptian free streaming website. It gained popularity in Egypt due to the availability of Egyptian series and movies, as well as Arabic subtitles.
The Shutdown Announcement:
Yesterday, May 13th, Egybest announced on their Facebook page that some internet providing services blocked their website.
Today, however, they announced that the website is officially closed and that this is the end for Egybest.
The page also left a comment saying that the issue is bigger than just being blocked in Egypt, which might hint that they could also face international legal issues.
Speculated Reasons for the Shutdown:
The first thing that came to most people’s minds after the shutdown was that “Watch it” might be the reason. Watch it is a subscription-based streaming service that was recently launched in Egypt by the Egyptian Media Group.
As soon as Watch it was launched, many speculated the shutdown on Egybest, due to the fact that they provide the same content for free.
As of now, the main reason for the shutdown is unannounced, but this theory does make sense and could be the reason. However, piracy has been a huge issue all over the world. The issue is bigger than a new competing paid streaming service vs a free service.
What will happen to piracy in Egypt?
While no official statement was released, we can only assume that stricter laws will start being implemented. While it might sound unfair, but we think this is a great move!
The Legalities of Online Piracy:
Online copyrights piracy is illegal in most countries, including Egypt. The law is barely implemented in Egypt and the Middle East. It is, however, very strict in Europe and the United States.
A great example of law implementation towards piracy would be the torrent tracking website The Pirate Bay. A lawsuit was filed against the founders and a Swedish businessman who sold services to the site through his businesses.
The trial began in 2009, and the verdict found all founders guilty of preaching copyrights law. They were sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 3.5 million dollars.
Pirates Bay was not the only website that faced a trial; numerous others faced prison time too.
The laws in Europe and the United States are also being implemented against those who download and stream illegally.
Why Piracy is Popular in Egypt:
Illegal streaming and torrent services are not viewed as illegal in Egypt. This is mostly due to the fact that we barely had any legal ways to obtain things legally.
Luckily, we do have services like Netflix and Spotify, amongst other streaming and download servers, to obtain things legally. Even Watch it, which had many people attacking it, is a great and legal way for us.
Why it’s good that Egybest is shutting down:
While piracy websites do provide free content, they still monetize their services. The ads on the websites, as well as the referrals to outsourced uploading services, allow them to gain money out of people’s views.
This is pure theft!
Services like Netflix make their money out of the subscriptions, rather than the ads. They also obtain their content legally, and the creators get paid for their work!
Years ago, it might have been fair for us Egyptians to download content illegally, but with the ease of online payment, and the availability of almost everything for us, it should start being considered as a real crime.
We are all guilty of piracy, and we would be lying if we said we don’t enjoy it, nor did we actually stop doing it, but that doesn’t make it right.
Yes, of course, free content is great, but so is being a millionaire out of robbing a bank. Same concept!
Update (May 15th,2019): Egybest opened another website and stated on their Facebook page that they will be moving to the new domain. Shortly after, however, the website was also shut down, along with their Facebook page being deleted. With that said, many can still access Egybest through VPN services.