Online piracy

With the popularity of the internet and technology evolving rapidly, more and more people are consuming content online

Whether it’s from a mobile phone, tablet or smart TV, online digital consumption is increasing and becoming the default choice for accessing film, TV, music, books, software and games.

However, with this increase and demand comes piracy and as broadband speeds become faster and more affordable, businesses from across the creative industries are seeing more content being pirated and illegally accessed online.

Risks of pirate websites
Often pirate sites will feature advertising to help give the site a look of legitimacy but most importantly to the criminals behind them it generates lucrative revenue.

Pirate sites are online havens for theft, enabling criminals to profit from content or intellectual property they had nothing to do with creating. The potential harm from these rogue sites is profound. They have been found to expose visitors to child-inappropriate content, viruses, malware, fraud and scams.

Types of online piracy
There are many different types of websites that provide unlawful access to copyrighted content such as films, music, TV, games and software.

Streaming sites
Illegal streaming allows you to view unauthorised copyrighted content on demand without downloading the illegal file.
Websites may stream directly or provide links to content hosted on other websites. Hosting unauthorised content and providing links to unauthorised content is illegal.

These sites are often user-friendly, with content divided into categories such as genre, year or language.

Cyberlockers
Cyberlockers are file-storage and file-sharing services for various media file types, such as photos, videos and sound files. They offer fast, convenient and anonymous distribution of content, which can be downloaded or streamed and quite often these sites are generating significant income through subscription services. Cyberlockers are unsearchable so infringing content is shared on blogs, forums and social media.

P2P
P2P or peer-to-peer sharing sites allows the sharing of digital files among “peers”. When using a peer-to-peer network you are allowing files stored on your computer to be available for copying by other users. You can then transfer exact copies of these files from one computer to another. Although it is legal to share large amounts of data or files, users often exchange copyrighted material illegally.

While people may believe their files are only available to a few friends, these files can be accessed by millions of people all over the world who are part of the same P2P network. The default setting for most P2P networks ensures that individuals downloading files are simultaneously uploading files, which means if you download movies you are also distributing illegal content to others. By allowing strangers to access files on your computer, private files could also become accessible and put you at risk.

Linking sites
Linking websites collate thousands of links to pirated content often stored on external cyberlockers. These sites are prolific in copyright infringement as cyberlockers are not searchable.

Torrent sites
Film release groups upload and share content on private torrent sites that rely on donations from members.

The material eventually makes its way onto public torrent sites, where it can be downloaded by anyone.

Contact FACT

We have developed numerous tactical approaches and solutions to tackle online piracy and digital crime. Contact us to find out how we can help you

Phone: +44 (0)20 8891 1217 Email: [email protected]

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