Laws, Website Blocks, Google Listings yet not much harm could be done to the movie pirates. Despite all the actions being taken to ban movie piracy across the world, there has been no effect on the popularity of the Pirated Movies. Instead, it has been on the growth side but how? You might think that what is there to be so shocked about, the reason is the time!
It takes a lot of effort and time for a normal website or a brand to be known amongst people and get a healthy amount of traffic on a regular basis. This is the reason why businesses and brands are so careful and have to rely on the experts for the best handling of their business websites. A blocked website means losing the domain name, which means a huge loss for businesses. Loyal customers remember their favorite websites or bookmark them. A website getting blocked indicates that the business loses out on its loyal customers, who then may shift to other choices instead of looking for them given the high competition in any industry.
On the other hand, websites with torrents who distribute pirated movies are blocked within weeks of getting live on the internet because of the laws against movie piracy. However, within this short interval of time, these websites are capable of making good enough business. Otherwise, the pirates wouldn’t return with another domain name each and every time after getting blocked on the internet.
Bypassing Laws And Promoting Pirated Movies
You must be thinking how can we be so sure about the business making right? All the torrent websites promoting movie piracy earn through ads and malware. If you have ever visited a torrent website before then multiple annoying redirects shouldn’t be news to you. Redirects that get triggered by clicking almost anywhere on the website screen and the uncalled for downloads that are nothing but malware or virus. Earnings from ads and malware come on a click-through rate basis. Which means higher the traffic, higher is the earning. Explains the point. But the question still remains how.
It is the social media behind the success of Movie Piracy websites. No, we ain’t talking about the owners being involved in it. Several of the social media channels have become a safe haven for spreading pirated movies. Movie pirates have been using various social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Telegram for their purposes. These social media sites help Pirates easily spread fresh links to new pirated movies of new websites.
Social Media Groups- Promoting Movie Piracy
According to a report of Business Insider, Facebook is overflowing with groups that spread website links to pirated movies. The same is the case with Telegram as well. Telegram, ever since its launch has been quite popular and has been frequently seen boasting about the heavy encryption it offers to its users assuring maximum privacy. While privacy sounds great, movie pirates have successfully been using privacy to easily spread and promote links to their websites.
Social Media Actions Against Piracy
Though it would be wrong to blame Telegram alone, groups that shared pirated movies links have been as old as the fast internet connection. Earlier it used to be on different forums now it has moved to social media platforms like Telegram and Facebook. And if you think these are the only platforms spreading links to pirated movies then you are wrong because there are accounts on Twitter as well solely created to share such links. While social media channels like Facebook and Twitter do have their policing features which at least tries to control the piracy problem, Telegram, on the other hand, has made no move against the problem till now.
Discussions about Telegram, in particular, for being a safe haven for spreading pirated movies has been done out in the open on various popular platforms such as Reddit. But despite the discussions, the social media developers haven’t done anything in order to take action to deal with the problem. While Telegram has treated the issue with silence, other platforms like Facebook and Twitter still police the content being spread across the platform. But, their policing capabilities can be judged well seeing the number of piracy groups and links already existing on each of the platforms. For example Tamilrockers Telegrams Groups
Though Facebook is intolerant about copyrights issues, posts containing links or content going against the laws have to be reported by Facebook users in order to attract the attention of the Facebook Moderators. Now there is a flaw in the system. The most rationale way of sharing links to pirated movies is through groups. There are very rare cases when a particular person shares such a link on their public profile, even in that case, the followers coming across such links mostly get attracted to the free media content. The same is the case with the groups. The group members decide to be a part of certain groups because of a certain purpose. When someone is joining a group named free movies download or latest Bollywood/Hollywood movies download free, it can be assumed that they would be more than willing to get access to free latest media content.
In such a scenario, receiving links to pirated movies is the only acceptable thing. Why would anyone report the links actually useful to them? Though the first level of marketing is done through Facebook groups, second-level marketing is done by the Facebook members that too at absolutely no cost. Free media, especially when it is the latest releases get easily viral because people have the tendency to share the source of free-media with their closed ones. Sometimes done by sharing the links through a post, sometimes through messenger and sometimes the link gets copied and shared on other social media platforms.
The Real Cause Behind The Popularity Of Pirated Movies
The real problem is that people willing to stream and download free media files mostly are unaware of the fact that they are promoting privacy and it is illegal. All they are interested in is free media that they keep looking for on the various search engines, so finding a place that assures a steady stream of links to the latest movies for free is more than a piece of happy news to them. It is a free value which makes them so excited that they without a second thought jump into doing free marketing for the pirates by sharing the links on their profiles or through the messenger. Many of them also choose multi-level marketing, which is from Facebook they shift to Whatsapp. Do you realize that it is exactly done the same way and with the same feeling a funny video becomes viral within days of being on the Internet? The feeling behind sharing the links may be harmless but the content is not.
The advent of the Internet along with many other things introduced us to the concept of free media. We somehow picked up the habit of adding a Free in front of almost every media we look for be it pictures, ringtones, videos or movies. That habit just never subsided. Something that started from the days of pocket money or even to no pocket money for few, it remained as an addiction even to days of salaries. The simple reason working behind this is why would you leave anything that is, available for free. Unless there’s a reason to do so.
Most of the people visiting torrent sites are unaware of the amount of risk they put their devices. While many think it is just the multiple redirects to the porn sites that are utterly disturbing but it is nothing compared to the unwanted downloads. Unaware users absent-mindedly install the apps on their phones or run the executable files on their computers that get auto-downloaded while browsing through these websites.
The other form of malware comes through the ads the website redirects its users to, that buzzes to bring your attention to alert you that your device is in danger and downloading the software will protect it from harm. However, this so-called anti-virus software downloaded from untrusted websites turns out to be the most dangerous files on your system. They are proven to be malware that can steal saved data from your devices and lock you out of it, also use the data for other cybercrimes.
But it is unreal to believe that only a largely unaware audience is causing agents behind the success of Movie Piracy business, isn’t it?
The Growing Ease Of Using Torrents
There used to be a time when torrent downloads required skills. Only the tech-savvy people could do it, which was the very reason why certain people were given the responsibility of downloading free movies and then sharing it through CDs initially and then on Pen Drives. But with the advent of social media and groups that spread links to pirated movies, the whole process has become very very easy, reaching to more number of people.
The only requirement is to be a member of these groups and then once the links are released, follow them to stream or download the latest movie you have been dying to see, all for free. How easier can it get than this? There may be a group of people on the internet who are aware of everything they do and their effects but not all. Rather, there is a number of people who use social media and the internet in general as a source of entertainment only. This section of the internet users is not even aware that porn is banned and so is piracy. They lack the ability to differentiate between fake and a piece of real news. For them, everything is real and harmless.
But despite the legal risk why are pirates using social media platforms to reach the masses? There may be a certain percentage of unaware users on social media, but there exists another class of users who are absolutely aware of the risks.
Telegram: A Misused Platform For Distribution Of Pirated Movies
Telegram has added features unlike other social media platforms that aids in the distribution of pirated movies. The first and foremost is the feature that allows the owners to hide their identities from the channel or group members. This alone is one of the most important features that are in contrast with other platforms. No other platforms allow hiding the identity of any user behind an activity. This gives ultimate protection to the administrators of the torrent websites promoting pirated movies on social media. A very big reason behind the extreme popularity of Telegram being used for spreading pirated movies.
The secrecy is maintained by using the bot system allowed on Telegram alone. The bot platform on Telegram was introduced in 2015 and was created in order to target the developers who have used it well to create multiple malicious groups hiding their identity. Though bots have been introduced on other platforms as well, no other platforms hide the identity from the followers.
Another favorable feature on Telegram is the storage. The platform allows users to share any file up to the size of 1.5GB. According to a report of the Outline, few administrators have confessed to distributing content of over 10TB on the platform.
And of course, how can we not talk about the Global Search. One search would bring you results from across the social media channel. For example, type a movie’s name on the search bar of Telegram, say, Avengers. The search results will show you all the sources which include groups and channels that have shared the link for Avengers. Not only does the feature gives its users easy access but it also helps the groups get an increased number of followers without doing anything. But how many? Can a few searches made on social media can aid the growth of an industry such as Movie Piracy?
Popularity Of Social Media Aiding To Piracy
It is not uncommon for Telegram users to come across bot groups and channels spreading links of the latest movies for free. So is the case with Facebook and other social media channels. One of the biggest reasons behind the success of the websites involved in movie piracy is the huge popularity of social media channels these days. There are so many people on Telegram for instance that it is very easy to reach a large number of audiences at a single go, especially when you are being followed by many.
People on social media don’t just use the search bar to find connections but also content. And the number is not one or two, even if we consider a small percentage searching for free movies on social media channels, the total number of people on the platforms are so large that even the small percentage is not less. Now when these numbers start their multi-level marketing of the pirated movies (who to their friends and families are trusted sources), the reach of the links increases and that too exponentially. But then, you might think what are the authorities doing?
Ignorance Of Authorities
Despite the open discussions made on various platforms and reports made to the authorities about the distribution of pirated content illegally on Telegram, there have been no efforts of moderation done by the platform. Neither has Apple or Google have taken steps to take it down from their app stores in order to take action against piracy.
Instead, the popularity of the app has only grown over time. According to a report, Telegram boasts of more than 200 million active users and has been downloaded over 365 million times as of August 2019
Amidst the dark days, a small spark of moonlight hope has been the growing popularity of OTT channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and many more. As video-on-demand platforms are becoming a status symbol, the use of these channels is increasing considerably with time. It is good in ways because these are not just safer alternatives for streaming media but also have the potential to control movie piracy to a large extent. A simple thing, you wouldn’t spend time looking for free-content online when you are already paying for original movies on a platform, would you?
Along with OTT channels, awareness about these websites promoting movie piracy, the legal liabilities of people promoting and viewing pirated content and the virus risk the users put their devices to may also help in controlling movie piracy over social media. Because measures have already failed. We have seen how even after Government taking measures against piracy, cybercriminals keep finding innovative ways that are rather creative to distribute pirated movies to the masses. And it will keep coming back till the demand for streaming the latest movies for free stays in the market.
Call me Tech Enthusiastic, Entrepreneur & Promoter if You Like but I am none of these things. I have Been Gifted with Problem Solver Instincts & I am On Internet For 15 Hours a day. I Like Long Drives, Walks & Deep Conversation But Basically I am a Big Time Foodie. I may travel End of the World For Tasty Food. I Am the Co-Founder of Piracyleash.com & This is my Playground Now …Hoping to make this World Piracy free.