It seems like the pirate industry is going down the drain.
In one sense or another anyway.
Most of the top piracy websites have gone out of business in just the last ten or twelve months.
All the big names like KickAssTorrents and ExtraTorrent.cc are gone now.
Of course, it has made little different the millions of end users.
Because they have just moved on to the other big name piracy sites in the form of The Pirate Bay.
But The Pirate Bay is also a torrent site.
You may think we just said something awfully obvious, but what we want to point out here is that names do not matter in the piracy industry.
Torrent websites and other illegal file-sharing platforms, no matter how big they seem, are bound to have shorter lifespans.
And that means that even the likes of The Pirate Bay are inherently unstable.
If we are moving forward with recent media reports in mind then torrent sites along with other file-sharing online platforms have had less than an ideal ride in the last couple of months.
Of course, this time the problems have not come from the likes of law enforcement agencies or copyright holder groups.
The problems torrent sites along with other piracy sites have faced in recent months is downtime.
These sites have faced other problems as well but we are not going to discuss those here.
What we want to discuss is the increasing trend amongst the end users to know more information on what is going on with these piracy websites.
They want to know why a certain torrent site goes down when it does indeed go down.
However, torrent sites have not followed the same trend.
They have gone the opposite way it seems.
Users don’t have a clue what is wrong with their favorite torrent site when it goes down randomly.
That forces them to rely on second-guesses and what not.
Site outages happen.
This is what we get for online digital services when compared to offline stores.
So that is nothing to complain about.
But the thing we should note is this:
Torrent sites along with other online file-sharing platforms get so much interaction and contribution from end users when they are working, it only makes sense that when these sites do go down they should respond in kind with the same intensity.
But what do most piracy sites do?
They go quiet.
And they also stay silent on any end user wanting to know more information about the problem or help from the operators of the site.
But is that fair?
Should pirates expect “customer support” from piracy sites?
We’re not even talking about some pirates who want premium customer support from sites that offer copyrighted content without charging users any money.
Regardless, the question remains.
Should piracy sites offer high-grade customer support?
And are pirates in the right demanding some form of customer support from the operators of popular piracy sites?
Piracy And Education.
The modern online user is different.
This user has niche tastes.
And it wants proper people to satiate these tastes in the best possible manner.
In other words, the modern online user knows what he/she wants.
And they also know how they should consume their content.
They don’t necessarily want other people to tell them what they should consume.
But they do want other people to provide them with avenues where they can consume content that they want to consume and the way they want to consume it.
The modern online user is using more online services than ever before.
And that is especially true if you are living in the West.
That is also the reason why the modern online user in the West is very educated about what he/she wants and what he/she doesn’t want.
At least when comparing to the online user of the old, the modern online user is a completely different beast.
Modern online users research a lot of stuff before they make a buying decision.
Moreover, they also hold views that encourage follow-up assistance from the sellers of the product after they make the purchase.
No one really knows what gave these users such ideas but the idea of customer support as an expected part of the whole package has taken root in the minds of the modern online users quite firmly.
And if we can just move away from the piracy business for a second, other companies and businesses consider customer support as a matter of life and death.
Since most of the services are offering, give or take, the same thing, it comes down to the details which decide where users would head towards when they want to consume content online.
Hence, companies have to compete with each other in order to offer the highest level of fast customer support.
And as expected, most serious businesses do take customer support very seriously.
As result, they put in as much effort as they possibly can to make sure that users have somewhere to turn to when they run into a problem with their product.
The Modern world is ultra-competitive.
And in this world, users don’t hesitate to send the product back if they find something wrong with their technology products.
They don’t care which store sold them the product.
If they find something very wrong with the product, they will not hesitate to send it right back to the store from which it came from.
Users are now much quicker to cancel their subscription plans as well.
As far as internet service providers go, this means that now all those unreliable internet and phone service providers are done for.
Modern users also have this habit of jumping from one provider to another provider without giving it more than a thought if they come to the conclusion that someone else if offering a better deal.
Moreover, that special someone doesn’t have to offer something radically different from what users are already consuming or using in the real world today.
All they have to do is to outdo their opponents by the slightest of margins.
And they can rest assured that consumers would jump the ship and come to them rather quickly.
Sometimes, the difference, in price terms, can be as low as a few dollars.
The same story holds true for Euros and Pounds.
But the real question is, does that behavior also translate to the world of piracy?
In other words, do pirates have the same expectations of piracy websites as Netflix users have of Netflix?
The environment is demanding that’s for sure.
But that shouldn’t detract us from one important point:
The digital economy has a vastly different history than the traditional economy.
In other words, the first wave of platforms that offers unauthorized content appeared right about at the turn of the current century.
The economy of the internet firmly established that all content on the web would come free.
And that’s why so few people could believe their luck when they first logged in to LimeWire, KaZaA and some other fledging BitTorrent online portals.
They just found it rather hard to believe that they had access to high-quality content.
And most of all, they did not have to pay for it.
And no one would come to ask them how they consumed their content.
In other words, online users from there on end got used to the idea that they could download free stuff.
These early services simply did not charge users to download stuff from their online platform.
Of course, they didn’t pay for the content either.
So one would think that they would have little problems in offering the same content to others for free and without any conditions.
As a result, online users accepted the idea of free content as the norm.
Standard operating procedures, as they say.
Today, the same position continues.
But the reasons have changed.
Some believe, the reasons for the same position as before are a bit unclear though.
In other words, some online users don’t see anything wrong with using pirated content.
Not only that, some online users actually believe that such platforms are their right.
They have the right to avail the services of these piracy sites and other file sharing platforms that offer users to download copyrighted content from the internet without any charge.
And who can blame them?
Moreover, that is probably the reason why some online users hold their favorite piracy site to the same high standards of service as they hold their internet service provider, for example.
Is that right?
Does it even make sense?
Let’s discuss the idea further for more clarification.
How do we know that users want piracy sites to have the same standard of service as their internet service provider?
Well, the one thing we can say is that you don’t have to search for long in order to find that is indeed the case.
Just go to any popular torrent site and have a look at the comments section.
For example, go to The Pirate Bay and scroll down on any torrent to read the comments from some of the users.
More likely than not, you would have hundred of online users commenting, or rather criticizing, the uploaded piece of content (for example, a movie), for its:
- Audio quality
- Lack of updates
Some users also complain about the piracy site uploader not providing the relevant crack with a particular piece of software application.
Moreover, these same online users also criticize an anonymous uploader for failing to upload the latest music album on the day the artist himself/herself releases it.
What we mean to say is that, even though these users know that they are downloading pirated stuff, they still complain about uploaders not showing enough gumption to get the torrent uploaded on time and as quickly as possible.
And we’re not even discussing the other complaint platforms such as Reddit and others where users continue to bemoan their favorite torrent site or file-sharing site’s downtime record.
Compare The Users Of The Old With The Modern Online User
Some people may (whether they want to or not) recall the absolute joy of discovering and then downloading from a working version of a Supernova mirror back in the day.
And back then these things only happened from a few minutes rather than what we are seeing today.
Of course, that was 15 years ago.
But if we compare that online user to the one we are witnessing via the comments section of various torrent sites, then the situation is, at the very least baffling.
Because back in the day, online users didn’t have a panic attack every time their favorite torrent site went offline.
Some users would even savor those moments when torrent sites would go offline and then some random enthusiasts volunteered their socks off to bring the torrent site back online.
In other words, the online users of the older world appreciated what they had.
They showed gratefulness more than anything else.
In the modern online world, that behavior is more or less extinct.
But can you really blame the modern online user?
Most of the modern online users have grown up in a world where torrenting is free and it is mass-scale.
Not to mention that it is more easily accessible than even the best of paid-services.
But we shouldn’t forget that these torrent sites along with streaming sites are free.
And when something is free, there are no expectations.
Regardless, modern online users have a hard time not holding these free streaming services and torrent sites to the same high standards as McDonald’s and/or Comcast.
This Is What Some Call Cultural Change.
This cultural change has given us these modern online users.
But it has evidently taken many years.
So it is disappointing to see that these free streaming sites and torrent sites haven’t evolved the way they communicate with their online users.
In other words, the communication between the two parties has also taken a hit in the last couple of years.
The free torrent sites and streaming sites of today should know that their predecessors did not have platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
And that they should use these platforms to form a stronger bond with their core user base.
Modern torrent sites and streaming platforms don’t use these services well enough.
In fact, they have this irritating tendency to keep (or rather leave) their core user base absolutely in the dark when they do experience problems or something goes wrong.
This kind of situation leads to much speculation.
It also leads to concern.
Users who feel entitled as well as those who are grateful use come out with their own views and opinions whenever and wherever these free torrent sites and streaming services go down.
So the obvious question is, why don’t the likes of The Pirate Bay and others, don’t use their official company blogs to update their core user base?
Why don’t they hire someone to attend their official accounts on social media?
And that’s not a problem with The Pirate Bay alone.
Countless other sites and services prefer to allow dust gather (in huge amounts rather) on their social media accounts on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Some of the top torrent sites and streaming services usually have their latest announcement dated back to 2012 or even earlier.
Shouldn’t site operators official announce scheduled maintenance operations or down times on their social media accounts in advance?
Shouldn’t they expend more effort in letting online users know more about what is happening behind the scenes when something unexpected takes place?
One site operator, in a conversation with TorrentFreak, said that torrent site operators hardly find the time anymore.
Moreover, the operator said, he/she didn’t care as much as he/she used to.
According to this site operator, anyone who works in this business for a long period of time would eventually get fed up.
This site operator told TorrentFreak that now getting in touch with site users was something he felt he needed to do but if he did not do it then it made no difference.
Because online users complained in any case.
In other words, if some site operator decides one day that he/she would like to update the site’s users on what’s happening behind the scenes then online users would always want the same.
And that was simply not sustainable.
But why is it not sustainable?
Is it because the relationship between the user and the operator has changed?
Or people are less accommodating nowadays?
Or maybe it is because users of day don’t have the technical knowledge that users of the old had and hence don’t know jack about what’s going on with a given torrent site or any given site.
These are all questions that individuals from both sides should give some thought to.