A topsite is a stringently protected underground FTP server at the top of the distribution chain for pirated content, such as movies, music, games, and software. Here's how it works: Someone gains access to content before mass release, perhaps by using high-end hardware to record a movie in a cinema or by getting hold of a screener or discarded studio copy of a movie. A release group prepares the content for digital transmission and uploads it to the topsite server, which is protected behind several layers of security and impenetrable to unauthorized access. So-called couriers copy the content from the topsites and upload them to second-tier distribution Web sites known as dump sites and from those sites to mainstream peer-to-peer ( P2P) networks such as Kazaa. According to an article in Wired Magazine, about 30 topsites are responsible for almost all of the pirated content distributed online.
This was last updated in September 2005

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