Piracy is like a hydra, file sharing advocates tend to say. Cut off one head, and you’ll face plenty of others. But in the case of the recently shut-down movie streaming site Kino.to, it now looks like those heads can’t agree on anything. Case in point: Video2k.tv, a site that has been billing itself as the official heir of Kino.to, is accusing a new site called Kinox.to of stealing its database.
Kinox.to launched earlier this week with the exact same design as Kino.to, offering plenty of links to movies hosted on third-party video streaming platforms, much like Kino.to did. The launch came complete with a little manifest that made fun of rights holders and law enforcement agencies, proclaiming that “your favorite streaming site is back” and concluding with: “Legends may sleep, but they never die.”
This apparently ruffled some feathers over at Video2k.to, another site that has been trying to follow in Kino.to’s footsteps. “Video2k.to is the only Kino.to clone,” a message on the site’s home page reads. “We have the entire database.” The admins then advise users not to trust any other site that tries to cash in on Kino.to’s popularity, and allege that some people have tried to simply steal Video2k.to’s database, essentially copying all the movie links from its catalog, something that can be done with a few automated scripts.
Video2k has been successful at portraying itself as a project started by former Kino.to admins after German authorities took the site down in early June, but those claims have to be taken with a grain of salt: Posts on a webmaster forum show that Video2k launched at least a month before authorities took action against Kino.to. The nature of the forum in question also reveals what this conflict really is about: Webmaster Junction is all about monetizing websites.