Ten years ago, it was easy to spot pirated movies or TV shows. The quality was low and often the sites promoting the content were clearly not official. Or, maybe, you used torrents to download movies.
Now it is becoming increasingly difficult because not only are the sites extremely professional in appearance, they are also charging. And, many offer customer support and have official-looking names.
How easy piracy has become is a major concern for content workers. Just last week, the President and Managing Director of the MPA in Europe, Stan McCoy, published an interesting piece titled, “Piracy Went from Geeky to Easy. What’s Next?” Here is a short segment of what McCoy said:
“[W]hile the makers innovate, so do the takers,” McCoy wrote.
“In the last 15 years, piracy went from geeky to easy. Transmission technologies improved with the advent of streaming, and delivery via new apps and devices bridged the divide between the PC and the living room.
“Today’s piracy has become a very different type of organized crime: more sophisticated, tech intensive, very elusive, and massive in scale. Where will it go next? Increasingly, industry antipiracy efforts are bending the trajectory from geeky, to easy, to … broken.”
In the past, piracy was about getting everything for free. Now it is increasingly about streaming services offering access to thousands of live TV channels and movies for a crazy low price.
One example was the IPTV service Set TV, a service with an extremely professional-looking website with tech support, offering access to a ton of live TV channels for $20 a month. They faced a lawsuit for piracy and shut down after they were ordered to pay DISH $90 million in damages.
To this day many readers tell us they thought Set TV was legal. It looked professional and offered a US address with customer support. This is a very different look to piracy from the shady websites of years past and the torrenting of just a few years ago. Set TV was not alone. There is a long list of similar services, some of which push the idea that they are legal. I often get questions about how legal they are.
In 2018, content companies have turned their sights on services like Show Box and Set TV. How effective their lawsuits will be is unknown. For now, if you are looking at streaming services, it may be best to remember if it sounds too good to be true…
So far in 2019 shutting down IPTV and the other cheap streaming services charging for access to pirated content has become the main focus of content owners. Look for the second half of 2019 to be full of legal actions targeting IPTV services. Also look for actions against users as DISH has started to threaten IPTV subscribers with lawsuits.
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