Cuevana3, including the subsidiary site cuevana3.io and others, is the largest Spanish-language piracy streaming service in the LATAM region and ranked number one for website traffic over the past four years, according to data analytics company SimilarWeb and ACE, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment.
The office of the US Trade Representative identified cuevana3.io in its 2022 Notorious Markets List, which was released in January 2023. At that time, the site had operated from Venezuela, utilizing reverse proxy services to mask the location of its hosting servers.
The USTR report said that Cuevana was the most popular piracy site in the Spanish-speaking part of Latin America, offering more than 7,000 unlicensed television and movie titles, had been active since at least 2018 and relied on cyberlockers for its underlying content.
The Notorious Markets report also said that the website monetizes its infringing content through advertising services. Cuevana’s use of multiple domains has allowed variants of the site to remain operational. For example, Cuevana.pro (ranked) as the second most popular piracy site in the Spanish-speaking part of Latin America at the time of that report.
According to ACE, Cuevana gained notoriety as an online piracy brand, spawning numerous copycat operations. Its network of more than 20 domains attracted more than 800 million visits in two years and made a vast library of infringing film and television content available in multiple formats.
The Cuevana3 domains shut down by ACE are being transferred to ACE and being redirected to ACE’s “Watch Legally” page.
Notice the “is” in the first paragraph above. When one Cuevana site is shut down, it’s no guarantee that they are all gone. SimilarWeb shows a cuevana site with a Swiss domain suffix, cuevana3.ch, to have had 38.2, 34.9 and 37.2 million visits in April, May and June 2023 respectively. cuevana3.eu, with a European Union domain suffix, had 1.1, 5.1 and 2.6 million visits during the same period.
A visit to that domain on July 11 was successful in bringing up both of those sites (rather than being redirected to ACE’s Watch Legally site). Despite their “European-looking” locations, nearly all visitors to both sites were from Mexico and South America.
ACE shuts down Latin America’s largest illegal streaming service. Press release. July 10, 2023. Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)
2022 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy. Report. Page 25. January, 2023. Office of the US Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President
USTR’s 2022 Notorious Markets report misses listing US-based piracy sites, social media. Article. February 1, 2023. Piracy Monitor
Why it matters
“The largest Spanish-language piracy streamer in Latin America is no more, thanks to a tireless, global effort involving law enforcement and judicial authorities in several LATAM countries and ACE’s global teams in LATAM and other parts of the world,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive VP and Chief Executive of Global Content Protection for the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE. “In the past year and a half, we’ve also taken down several other high profile illegal services in LATAM, which sends a clear message to piracy operators in the region and worldwide that we are closing in.”