Controlling Piracy Is Difficult Because Internet Pirates Are Difficult

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Piracy may or may not bring ethical issues with it.

We all saw what happened this past week.

A man in the United States of America “dared” to upload three episodes (or rather remaining episodes) of a show called Power to the Internet well before the episode’s commercial release.

The situation made one thing really clear:

The man who uploaded those episodes didn’t really care if someone had identified him.

But we must ask the question:

If someone is provided with the right tools to engage in piracy without much effort then would that person even consider the possibility that authorities may get to him/her?

We have to keep that fact this fact in mind.

In the modern age of the internet, everything is just a couple of clicks away.

Normal online users with no knowledge or experience of piracy can simply become a piracy supplier with the technology that is available, in some cases, for free.

Some History Lesson

The shape of the piracy and pirate market hasn’t changed a lot in the last couple of decades.

IN other words, the piracy industry, just like any other industry, has a hierarchical structure.

There are a few big people at the top.

And a lot of people at the bottom.

The important players at the top are very few in number but form a large percentage of the suppliers.

In other words, the number of people who need the content far outnumbers the number of people who supply the content.

The market is huge.

And it continues to sprawl.

Probably because those who make up the mass are keen people.

Keen people who are keen to consume.

And they will consume any and all high-quality content that suppliers will throw at them.

Moreover, these keen “users” will not only consume the content, they will also share it.

Share it with whom?

With everyone else.

CDs And DVDs

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Piracy has evolved and so has every other technology that helps piracy.

It is safe to say that the model that pirates used when CDs and tapes ruled the entertainment world has truly vanished.

And these same pirates have shifted very quickly and efficiently to the new era.

The era of P2P file-sharing.

We have seen how the P2P file-sharing model has continued to grow for the past twenty years or so.

Consumers keep waiting for high-quality content.

And uploaders, or suppliers, keep satisfying them with high-quality dumps week in and week out.

Most of this high-quality content is available for free on file-sharing networks.

And file-sharing networks stay alive because of two things:

People coming to them and download stuff.

People visiting these networks to share stuff.

Both actions are equally important.

One cannot happen without the other.

If people only download content and don’t share it with others, then the deal will break.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, everyone is keeping their side of the bargain.

For now.

Piracy Industry Roots

People have continued to download the latest and the greatest movies, music files and TV shows for years now.

All of the content that appears online comes from one source.

Or a collection of sources.

This source is called The Scene.

The Scene obtains copyrighted content from wherever it receives it and then leaks it to the various online file-sharing platforms.

But recently technology has enabled other players to knock The Scene off its throne.

Let’s just explain that a bit for clarity’s sake.

With the rise of technologies such as BitTorrent and P2P file-sharing and computer skills among the general public, those few kings lost their monopoly.

Now the whole industry of P2p release groups has started to flex its muscles.

And as a result, they have sliced a big chunk off the top of the piracy pyramid.

The barriers to the piracy industry have consistently become lower and lower over the years.

Now, anyone with enough computer knowledge and decent hardware can become a P2P releaser.

Of course, when the barrier to any skill becomes this low, there is always a lot of competition.

And couple that with the fact that you still have to package your product in an acceptable manner.

The content isn’t going to sell itself.

Release groups have to make sure that they package their skills in the right manner.

That is the only way to make their work visible in the online world.

As far as the piracy world is concerned, the internet shrinks down to the world of streaming and torrent sites.

All the while, these release groups have to make sure they do their homework rigorously so copyright holder groups and other law enforcement agencies can’t catch them that easily.

Piracy Is Not For Everybody

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Piracy isn’t limited to just one type of content or to one set of people.

As mentioned before, for any online user to become a releaser, first he/she needs to have the right skills and then he/she has to market those skills, package those skills and stay out of the copyright holder group radar just to survive.

As you can imagine, that is slightly harder than easy.

And that’s why many online users find it prohibitively complex to interact with the piracy world.

In other words, the Average Jose in the online world is not going to take that risk.

So what does that Average Jose instead?

YouTube.

The Average Jose uses YouTube up upload audio files along with movies and TV shows.

And uploading content on YouTube has its own benefits.

An uploader doesn’t have to worry about copyright holders because they will go after YouTube, not the YouTube uploader.

Moreover, the uploader doesn’t have to worry about the legitimacy of his/her actions either.

That is again, YouTube’s job.

We have essentially reached a stage where nothing is extraordinary anymore.

Piracy has made most of the other “mediocre” content more boring.

As far as premium content is concerned, no industry on earth can compete with the piracy industry.

And perhaps no one ever will.

If you have spent any decent amount of time on YouTube, you would know that people always have the potential to surprise you.

And they do.

Perhaps that is the reason why YouTube is the second most visited site in the world, after Google, which is an online search engine.

Going Back To The Man Who Uploaded Stuff

That man, who uploaded the last three remaining episodes of a TV show in the United States of America, doesn’t have a worry in the world to bother with.

How did he release those few remaining episodes?

Well, he simply acquired a login account for a portal known as STARZ press.

Then that man accessed the last three remaining episodes of the show called Power.

After that, he moved ahead and stream those last three remaining Power episodes on the hugely popular media site Facebook.

The man used nothing by a smartphone device.

And of course an internet connection.

We can say with confidence that this episode of copyright infringement had quickly become comical.

TorrentFreak acquired the name and other personal details on the man in question in a matter of mere minutes.

TorrentFreak also revealed the process the man used to get the required logins.

The man mistakenly recorded his face as well while uploading the three remaining episodes of the TV show called Power.

We’ll reiterate again that the man did not care even a little bit that someone could catch him or report him.

Perhaps, he should have.

It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Expectedly, the news of the three leaked Power episodes broke out quickly.

And it spread at pace.

STARZ even came out in the public and confirmed that the breach had indeed happened.

STARZ also said that it promised the public to take all the necessary measures to deal with the situation appropriately.

Moreover, Starz has also stated via an official channel that someone had released the final three remaining episodes of the fourth season of Power.

It also revealed that the leak had taken place because of some “breach” that happened with the press screening room.

Additionally, the statement read that the company had initiated forensic investigations.

The company stated that it would also take all legal actions against all the responsible parties involved.

Is This A Huge Problem? Three Episodes? Of One Show?

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Is piracy as huge a problem as copyright holder groups claim it to be?

Perhaps this is a good time to consider the actual magnitude of the action that the man carried out.

We can all continue to laugh at the man’s rather useless camera skills.

But that doesn’t change the fact that he tried to distribute copyrighted works unlawfully.

The man released the episodes on an online platform well in advance of the episodes’ official commercial release.

We don’t know about other countries but in the United States of America, that is considered as a criminal offense.

This criminal offense can also result in other nasty things.

Other nasty things like a jail sentence.

And not just a jail sentence.

A jail sentence for several years.

No one in his right mind would want to take such as risk if the result means he/she would go to jail.

Should The Guy Behind The Release Go To Jail?

There is no doubt about the fact that the guy did something illegal and reprehensible.

And copyright holder groups along with law enforcement agencies will surely try to make an example of him.

But the videos clearly suggest that this man didn’t really know or consider the potential consequences of his actions.

In other words, the man didn’t belong to a big piracy release group.

As mentioned before, this man actually represented the Average Joe.

An average Jose who happened to have a login and a smartphone camera.

Of course, he also had the intent.

And in the court of law, that counts for more than nothing.

Regardless, the scenario further highlights the fact that technology has come a long way and it is here to stay.

To put it another way, technology will continue to affect every facet of our lives including piracy and piracy sites.

The Past And The Present.

As mentioned before, things didn’t always pan out this way in the piracy industry.

In the old days uploading a video, a movie or even a TV show and then releasing it, required a good amount of skill and technology.

Not to mention some serious hardware as well.

Only people with a specific set of several skills could undertake such a job.

The average Joe could not even think about tackling such a process.

But these times are different.

As indicated earlier, such a process, today, requires almost no effort and definitely no skill.

The effect is the same though.

A common man can pre-release any content including,

  • Movies
  • TV shows
  • Sports events
  • Documentaries

with nothing but a smartphone camera, an official Facebook account and of course, an intent or urge.

Of course, this is not the perfect scenario, but it is the reality that we all live in today.

And perhaps we will not have to wait for too long to find out what could happen when technology enables millions of people to do the same.

Piracy tools are becoming ubiquitous.

People have always had an urge to share stuff they find interesting.

And with everyone having an internet connection, we can’t wait to see a large scale application of what can happen when technology is used in less than ideal ways.

A Bit About The Future

In about two weeks, we will see a massive fight.

Which fight?

The fight between Conor McGregor, the UFC lightweight Champion, and Floyd Mayweather Jr, the recently retired “best ever” boxer.

The whole of the media is calling the fight as the biggest revenue-generating sporting event in the history of combat sports.

Perhaps we should also mention here that this event will also become the most expensive Pay Per View event for buyers as well.

And you know what that means?

That means, people will pirate it to the maximum.

They will share the fight and live stream the fight in any and all ways possible.

Needless to say, the impact of Mayweather vs McGregor fight will surpass anything else on the piracy industry.

The Piracy Industry Will Eat Up McGregor And Mayweather Fight

You will see expensive but high-quality IPTV productions all over the internet.

And you will also see tons of grainy but acceptable free Kodi streams.

On a side note, in order to get every feature and addon possible on kodi and to not get sued if you accidentally watch something pirated, you need a VPN. You can find the 5 best VPN’s for Kodi here.

Not to mention, you will almost certainly see hundreds if not thousands of web portals.

Moreover, the piracy industry will also give you streaming torrents.

It wouldn’t matter what kind of user you are.

After two weeks time, the piracy industry will give the people what they want.

And what they want if high-quality content.

But for free.

 

Zohair

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
Zohair

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