The contentious relationship between movies and online pirating

Since the beginning of the modern internet (i.e Google), people have been finding ways to find things (music, movies, TV) by other more, illegal, means. But now it seems like the movie industry is trying once again, harder, to crack down on online pirating.

It seems that this big blockbuster studios have been focusing mostly in Britain and Australia,because those seem to be the countries (along with Google and Microsoft) they have reached agreement with. Both Google and Microsoft (owners of search engines Google and Bing) have promised to reduce the traffic to the websites, specifically, “the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will now monitor the search results provided by Google and Microsoft’s Bing search engine for websites providing illegal downloads. The new code will also see sites that have previously received copyright infringement notices demoted down the search rankings so that they do not appear on the first page, thereby reducing the amount of traffic to them.“. Google and Microsoft also have committed to also directing top search results to legitimate streaming sites instead of the illegal ones.

In Australia, movie studios want to go even further with adding “74 pirating sites such as Limetorrents, Putlocker, Kinogo, and Megashare to the list of sites blocked by nearly 50 internet providers if movie studios succeed in their latest legal move to stop Australians streaming or downloading movies and television for free.“. I truly do not know how that will work out though, as pirating sites are like the Hydra, cut off one head and more will quickly grow. With online pirating, the need for free content can never be burned out by Google or blocking sites, because again, more will always pop up and find ways to get their name out their. TV pirating can easily be lessened by allowing people will a cable provider to watch TV shows on the channels corresponding website. With that you can still track the view your show is getting and its provides the idea of free-ness. With music, their is YouTube. With films, the best legal online option is Netflix, but that requires a friend who will allow you their password, or a subscription. And even with that, Netflix does not have the most recent movies, and that’s where pirating comes in. Online piracy will always have the most recent (even just released in theaters) movies. People may want to see your film, but they may not have the time or extra cash to pay the 11 dollar movie ticket. Movies are not that easily accessible but the internet is. In 2014 in Australia, to combat pirating of movies (the bulk of which are American), the pledged to not delay the release of films – i.e. the same day they came out in America, they would come out in Australia – but this December they announced that they were in fact, not doing that plan anymore, and said they would release The Lego Batman Movie (released in February) would be released six weeks after it would be released in America. “According to the Village Roadshow CEO, “99 per cent” of the films distributed by the company line up with the US release date. But in this instance, they believe the loss of sales due to piracy will not outweigh the boon of the school holidays when Aussie families fork out at the box office.” This is ironic as, in 2014 they made the decision to do the same day release BECAUSE they lost so much money last time for this same exact reason. The release of The Lego Movie in Australia lined up when kids were out of school, but the pirating was too strong.

Big movies, from big companies, are the biggest targets from online pirating. Whenever the Oscars are close, online pirating hits a high. Oscar Best Picture films are sent out to the voters, called “screeners”, and are soon after, leaked online. Law Enforcement has tried to find these people, but while obviously easy to see online, they are hard to locate. And again, shutting down a person or a site will not make the problem go away. The market for illegal pirating is huge, because its free, and also its quicker and easier. The response from the industry is wrong, in my opinion. You should not try to block these sites, instead put them out of business, give them no reason to exist in the first place. Make movies more accessible, cheaper, easier to get a hold of online and offline. Disney owns ABC, Viacom owns Paramount and Nickelodeon, Spike, and MTV. Taking these examples, they can use the channels TV sites to stream their own movies, and all you need to a login that proves you already subscribe to these channels. There are other – and better – solutions to Film’s online pirating problem.



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