3. 4. 2023

The Hellspy Internet platform, which was one of the most popular czech data sharing servers, ceased its operation over the past weekend. It happened on the first day of April, just as planned. I&Q Group, as the operator of the service, will now refund people with subscriptions gradually.

Hellspy, as one of the largest data sharing servers in the Czech Republic, has been a thorn in the side of copyright protectors for quite some time. On this portal, as well as on a number of other Internet storage sites, people have been sharing movies, music, games and illegal copies of various programs.

For example, Weemazz, a company that searches for and removes films and music from online repositories, said last year that requests are sent to operators every day to remove copies of thousands of copyrighted works.

While Hellspy promptly deleted the reported copies, illegal content was still abundant on the site. An agreement last September, when the I&Q Group - the operator of the Hellshare and Hellspy online repositories - agreed with representatives of commercial TV stations to deploy filters that would automatically search for and delete illegal content, did not help much.

Amendment to the Czech Copyright Act

But the New Year was a turning point, when the aforementioned amendment to the Czech Copyright Act following the European regulation came into force. According to the amendment, the operator essentially assumes responsibility for its users - it is responsible for what data users upload to the server.

Hellspy reacted to this by scrapping searches after the new year. No matter what terms you typed into the search box on its site, all you got was a message that the file you wanted could not be found.

Considering that this year the service was only available for downloads as part of a subscription fee or for credits that users earned by uploading data, the company lost a substantial amount of funding with the new year. That's apparently why the company has decided to cut back on operations from the coming month. In practice, this means that the service is no longer available from 1 April 2023. The website only displays information about the termination of the service and a contact form.

Even before the closure of, the operators of the service began to harass users with subscriptions about the fact that they would be refunded if they had subscribed to the service for a longer period. So it is a pro-rated amount that will be calculated on the remaining days after the first of April. So for most users, it will be tens of crowns, hundreds of crowns at most.