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.