Have you ever noticed how easy it is to commit piracy on the Internet today? From bootleg movies to P2P file sharing sites, sometimes piracy happens without intention. On the other hand, there are a lot of pirated files that are viewed and shared on a daily basis on purpose.
33% of the video streams on which YouTube displays advertisements are of videos that are uploaded by fans without permission.
Some of the most popular films and music that are created today in studios are available in pirated versions on the Internet today. Although viewing an online stream of a movie might seem legal because there are no actual downloads taking place at first, the fact remains that users are able to access copyrighted content for free when it is not intended to be free. This makes it piracy.
- When a movie hits Russian theaters, the average amount of downloads that it receives from the Internet during its first week in theaters is 1 million.
- Before filing for bankruptcy, Blockbuster estimated that 6 out of the 10 DVDs that were viewed in Spanish households were pirated.
- The South Korean home-video market has declined 95% in the last decade.
- It is believed that about 8,000 jobs are lost in the United Kingdom every year because of Internet piracy.
- Annual cost of global pirate to firms in the United States and lost sales is estimated to be $25 billion.
- There has been an annual increase in wireless data traffic of over 130% through the end of the year 2013.
- In the United States, it is estimated that 375,000 jobs are lost every year because of Internet piracy.
Internet piracy is not a victimless crime. When you can visit a website like Watch32 and get a free stream of a movie that is still in theaters, at first it feels like a jackpot. You don’t have to spend $10 on a ticket. We can even justify the actions of streaming movie because we are not downloading a file and the movie industry is going to make aliens of dollars anyway. The problem is that online streams are just as illegal as a download. You are taking money out of the pocket of a legitimate business. Any time a justification has to be created in order to make a behavior seem legal or believable, there is something wrong going on that needs to be stopped.
Everyone Is Doing It
- Since the year 2000, the bandwidth used to download illegal pirated entertainment options has increased by over 160%.
- In January when he 13, it is estimated that 327 million unique users illegally sought to engage with copyrighted content that they had no right to access.
- The percentage of the internet that is used to download illegal content: 24%.
- From November 2011 to January 2013, the number of visitors worldwide to direct download cyberlockers fell 8% to 149 million.
- BitTorrent websites accounted for 7.4 billion page views, up 31% from November 2011.
- Video-streaming sites generated 4.2 billion pages, up 34% in the same time period.
Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do. Millions of people might be engaging in copyrighted content, and a portion of those may be doing it unintentionally, but Internet pirate has become so ingrained with our online usage that we don’t give it a second thought most times. Even protections that have been proposed to protect copyright information have been blocked – sometimes by people who create copyrighted content that is being pirated. Any system of information distribution can be abused. There will always be piracy as long as the Internet continues to exist. The question that must be asked is this: are you willing to have a level of integrity with your conduct online, even if someone isn’t watching?
Internet Piracy Is In Every Sector of Industry
- As of 2008, it was estimated that over 40% of software installed on personal computers with pirated.
- More than $50 billion is lost every year due to online piracy.
- From 2004 to 2009, 30 billion songs were downloaded illegally.
- Seven out of 10 Americans believe that sharing movie and music files with their own family members is perfectly legal to do.
- Half of all Americans believe that sharing the same files with friends is also okay to do.
- 70% of 18-29 year-olds have downloaded illegal content within the last year at least once.
- Democrats and Independents are significantly more likely to download media illegally than their Republican counterparts.
- The percentage of Republicans who admit that they have downloaded music for free in an illegal fashion: 24%.
- At public universities, and IT professional will spend an average of 400 hours every year dealing specifically with P2P issues on campus.
- Some universities may spend more than $500k in cash and manhours to be in P2P compliance.
In the United States, there is a tradition of having someone be considered innocent until they are proven guilty. The only problem is that we are not holding those who are sharing and using pirated copyrighted information responsible for their actions. We are looking to universities and ISPs and employers to pick up the bills that are being generated by people within those institutions or customers of them. Students should be more worried about the legal consequences of their Internet piracy than being sanctioned by their school. We need to turn the dynamic around. There are copyright violation laws that are on the books right now that could be enforced. Maybe we should be enforcing the laws we have instead of trying to create additional levels of administrative red tape.
How Easy Would It Be To Stop Internet Piracy?
- When Netflix looks to purchase a new series for streaming, they check pirate websites before determining which shows to get rights to air.
- In 2012, it is estimated that there was over 110 million illegal movie and television downloads.
- The amount of illegal activity that has decreased since 2008: 20 million total downloads.
- The amount of lost commercial revenue that is due to Internet piracy is more than double in the Asia Pacific region than it is in North America.
- The average length of time between a film’s USA release and its first appearance online is 12 days.
The problem is the amount of information that is distributed by the Internet today. It is difficult to be able to control individual choices that happen in the privacy of a moment alone. Right now, much of what Internet piracy controls happen to be exist on someone’s personal moral ethics. Even still, there are certain things that could be done. When warnings are included with movie and music downloadable content, the instances of Internet piracy dropped by more than 75%. We can stop sharing files with family and friends. We can make movie options become device specific so that they can only be aired on one specific mobile device like how Sony manages PlayStation content. We don’t just have to accept the status quo, but we do have to do something.
What Have We Learned Since The Shutdown Of Megaupload?
- Out of the 50 million files that are regularly shared, only .001% are every taken down by content owners.
- There are 450,000 copyright takedown notices that occur on Google every day.
- The largest private penalty that has been distributed for an individual non-commercial user of pirated products is $616.
- 20% of the content that is produced by independent artists is pirated, compared to 7% piracy rates for creative content from major studios.
- The percentage of creative content that is estimated to be pirated and distributed online illegally: 26%.
- 77% of the movies that were released in 2011 were from independent filmmakers.
When considering Internet piracy, we have to consider the fact that those who have more resources to fight it are better able to protect their inherent rights. When one out of five e-books are sourced from illegal websites and one out of five independent films is pirated, it isn’t the major studios that are taking the hits financially. It is the struggling artist, doing what they love to do, while they work hard to put food on the table. Internet piracy takes the opportunity to pursue dreams away from the independent artists. This is why it is so important to recognize the issue of Internet piracy and to do something about it. If we leave things just as they are, it might be nice to see a free movie now and then, but the cost of that action has to be felt somewhere. If you don’t pay for creative work, then the artist is going to pay for it.
Go-Gulf created this wonderful infographic.
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