The war with online piracy is a constant battle for those that are trying to stop it. Web companies are fighting to stay on top of the never ending stream of movies that appear on sites like YouTube every day, or the music that pops up on hundreds of sites online that people are able to download for free whenever they want. Since 2011 there were a few hundred thousand requests for Google to remove links that go to copyrighted materials every single week. That number has now skyrocketed to a staggering 20 million a week. Google is only one of the sites that receives these requests however, YouTube, Twitter, and Blogger are all well known for getting many requests every single day.
A law was passed in 1998 that stated that companies must remove any material off of the web that someone claims rightfully belongs to them. In large entertainment companies there are people who have the dedicated job of trawling through the internet on Google and various social media sites looking for these copyright violations and doing their best to try and get them removed. The big web companies out there never disclose how often they have to remove links or photos from their site because of violations as obviously it is a number that they deem should be kept to themselves. Whereas other large web companies have made agreements with the entertainment companies so that if they notice that their site is being used to communicate copywritten material then they will flag it.
Online piracy has almost formed a divide between companies like Google and entertainment companies, as the latter feels as though Google is not doing enough to prevent links to piracy sites. They also believe that they aren’t doing enough to remove them once they are there.
BitTorrent is one of the most popular torrenting websites that allow people to swap and watch pirated movies free of charge. The site is so popular in fact that it accounts for 4% of all internet traffic during peak evening times in the USA.
Although people are striving to stop this trend, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, quite the opposite. There may have been a slight stall when legitimate sites such as Netflix and Amazon prime came along that supplied an easy way to watch movies and TV shows legally with only a small charge, but this still is not making a dent in the online piracy problem that we are now facing. The ability to be able to read, watch, listen to, and use anything we like on the internet for free has become such a norm that people are genuinely surprised if they do not find a piece of material that they are looking for. This type of piracy is so popular that legal movie and tv show sites are actually studying illegal sites and considering them as competition in the field. They need to offer something different and better that will encourage people to pay a small amount of money to get an easy and legal service. Services like Netflix are so much easier to use than torrenting videos or scouring the internet to find a good quality copy of a TV show, and this is one of its biggest selling points.
Legal video viewing sites have grown in popularity in the past few years and entertainment industries are considering this as a way to try and combat online piracy. iTunes are doing their best to make getting content legally as cheap and easy as possible, and it’s only recently that these sites have made content as accessible online. Entertainment industries are questioning whether this is the best route to go down in terms of preventing piracy. Instead of focusing all their efforts into taking down what is already pirated online, they should offer alternative ways that the public can get their hands on quality materials cheaply, easily, and that’s completely legal.
People worry that as mobile devices become more internet friendly and better at delivering quality content, the rate of online piracy will rise even more. People will be able to watch whatever they want wherever they are, and this could lead to a real problem, damaging the economy even more than it is already doing. Currently studies show that the amount that people are using pirated materials is causing a strong negative effect on the industries that people are pirating from. Not only are businesses losing money from sales, but it also puts people’s jobs at risk and prevents other job-creating projects. If this trend continues in the way that it is at the moment, the effects could be disastrous for entertainment companies in the next few years as fewer and fewer people choose to pay for their products. Something needs to be done soon and various companies are doing their absolute best to come up with a viable solution to a steadily growing problem. Only the future knows what will happen next.