If you’re not convinced, consider the following societal costs of digital piracy:
- According to a report from the US Chamber of Commerce, online piracy costs the US economy nearly $30 billion per year, with pirated videos viewed over 200 billion times.
- Job losses from digital piracy range between 230,000 and 560,000 per year.
Federal copyright laws therefore stated that digital media piracy is illegal. It’s punishable by steep fines or even imprisonment.
Every person involved in the creative industries and their supply chains suffers because of piracy. New software, music artists, and movies are less likely to be developed because of the lack of funds. This leads to fewer jobs for those involved in the creation, promotion and support of these products.
Fighting digital piracy requires a first understanding of what motivates pirates and how they profit from their actions.
Why does Digital Piracy Exist?
Anyone with basic technical knowledge or resources can steal intellectual property rights-protected content and set up a site to profit from it. This, along with the ease with which piracy sites can attract traffic from people looking for free content to download, has contributed to the spread of digital piracy.
What drives digital pirates to steal copyrighted content?
- The vast majority of people follow the law and pay for the content and software they consume. There are also those who disagree, arguing for the free distribution of digital media such as software, movies, music, and games.
- The inability or unwillingness to pay for digital content is the most common cause of digital piracy. Almost anything is available for download from torrent and other pirate websites. And the download time is often only a few minutes.
- Another common reason is the notion that businesses already have a lot of money and don’t need more. Pirates may believe that they have the right to distribute freely to the less fortunate and give everyone a chance to enjoy or use the content.
However, monetary gain is the primary motivation for some individuals to engage in digital media piracy.
Generating Revenue From Ads
Ad revenue is the primary source of digital piracy income, as with most for-profit web 2.0 sites.
Besides threatening the credibility of the digital advertising ecosystem that has been built up over the past two decades, ad-supported content theft is a real and growing threat to content creators.
A study examined different digital piracy websites like the popular torrent ones that primarily sold pirated content and found that ads brought in enormous profits for the sites.
The websites they examined generated more than £220 million dollars in ad revenue. But the damage done to the creative economy and creative workers was far greater. The largest BitTorrent portal sites generate more than $6 million a year in revenue from ads alone, according to a study of 30 of the largest sites. Small websites can earn more than $100,000 a year from advertising.
Other Ways That Digital Pirates Make Money
Community altruism is a factor in some of the file sharing on torrent sites. Listeners may decide to share a song that they particularly enjoy with others, for example. Others upload pirated content to assess the public reaction to it. However, the hosting website receives all the advertising revenue from this type of file sharing, but the individual contributors do not.
Viruses, spyware, and other forms of adware and spam are all too common on pirate sites. Because of this, pirates and hackers create malicious software with the express purpose of facilitating online piracy, identity theft, cryptocurrency mining, and other types of illegal content. Those who distribute malware are often well-rewarded for their efforts.
A few digital pirates are like malware distributors, but instead of uploading malware, they distribute fake content like unreleased movies and video games to increase their ad revenue.
How Can We Help You Protect Yourself?
If you’re a digital artist or content creator, you have every right to worry about your original content, whether it’s a course, a song, an ebook, or a peace of codemovie. When you work with Havel, you can rest easy knowing that your intellectual property will always be secure. We use a combination of powerful AI and effective DMCA Takedowns to scour the internet and remove illegal copies of your content from the Internet.
Chances are, if you’re selling content online, it’s already out there. The reason you’re losing so much money is because you’re not proactively protecting yourself from digital pirates. Sign up for Harvel right away!