The Threat of Online Piracy
Piracy poses a security risk to audiences, robs creators of compensation for the content we all love, and makes it harder to recoup the significant investments that go into the production of new movies and TV shows.
- In 2016, there were an estimated 450 million downloads of pirated wide release films and primetime TV and video-on-demand (VOD) shows using peer-to-peer protocols alone in the United States – and that doesn’t include other sources like streaming and downloading sites. (Analysis of MarkMonitor data)
- Worldwide, in 2016, there were an estimated 5.4 billion downloads of pirated wide release films and primetime TV and VOD shows using peer-to-peer protocols. (Analysis of MarkMonitor data)
- In 2016, there were an estimated 21.4 billion total visits to streaming piracy sites worldwide across both desktops and mobile devices. (Analysis of SimilarWeb data, based on streaming sites with at least 10,000 copyright removal requests according to the Google Transparency Report)
- In the second half of 2016, the 10 most popular streaming piracy sites globally each saw an average of 7.4 million desktop visitors worldwide. (Analysis of SimilarWeb data, based on streaming sites with at least 10,000 copyright removal requests according to the Google Transparency Report)
- Google processed over 78 million piracy removal requests in the month of March 2017 – or more than 1,700 per minute. (Source)
- Worldwide, 432 million unique internet users explicitly sought infringing content during in January 2013, alone. (Source)
- A study that looked at a sample of the top 589 pirate sites found that they generated an estimated $209 million in annual advertising revenue alone. Profit margins for sites supported solely by advertising range from 86 to 93 percent. (Source)
- In Spain, 32 percent of consumers accessed pirated films in 2016, and there were 4.1 billion illegal content views across all copyrighted content, resulting in lost revenues of 1.78 billion euros. (Source)
- In France, an estimated 27 percent of consumers accessed pirated audiovisual content each month in 2016, and there were 2.5 billion illegal content views in total, resulting in overall losses of 1.35 billion euros. (Source)
- In Australia, 25% of consumers aged 18 to 64 consume pirated content. (Source)
- In Mexico, an estimated 34.8 million adults consumed pirated films during a 12 month period from March 2016 to March 2017. (CLAC National Index Piracy, Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) for the Coalition for Legal Access to Culture, A.C., March 2017)
The greatest, and most often neglected, cost of piracy falls on the user. Not only will individual consumers suffer from a lack of reinvestment in the content they love, but piracy opens the door to a host of cyber security dangers.
From botnets to DDoS attacks, video piracy has become the number one method to propagate highly dangerous malware on the Internet. (Source) Visitors to piracy sites are often exposed to malware that can be used for identity theft and other nefarious schemes. In one study’s sample, one-third of sites included links with the potential to infect a user’s computer with viruses and other malware. In most cases, the links are hidden behind Download or Play buttons, but in many cases, it is not even necessary to click on a link to spawn the unwanted download. These downloads earn site owners millions in annual revenue. (Source)