Online piracy is the act of piracy, or illegally downloading and sharing digital media, including music and software. The concept behind online piracy has preoccupied the minds of most people, even before the birth of the worldwide web. Although the world-wide-web was created to bring people together, it also provided a venue for those who seek to make illegal copies of materials. Online piracy begets new legal niches for distributing pirated materials, as well as new markets for selling legal products. There is also an interesting historical side to piracy. While some people pirate material because they are attracted by the idea of owning that content for a lower price, others pirate because they feel that it is morally wrong.
What Is Online Piracy?
While many people think that the act of piracy has ended with the advent of the worldwide-web, it is still widespread. It is estimated that in 2021 piracy accounted for 15% of online revenues. One reason for this is that there are more people who are willing to buy online content than there are people willing to buy it for a low price. Online content providers face stiff competition, which often translates into lower prices for the products and services that they offer. Another reason for piracy is that some forms of piracy are difficult to curb. For instance, copy-protected DVD’s are difficult to pirate because many programs require the use of specialized hardware, making them beyond the reach of most normal users.
The most common form of online piracy is file sharing. File sharing is often referred to as “torrenting.” Many people don’t consider streaming websites to be piracy, since they do not store media directly on their servers. Instead, streaming websites share their media among many users, often at a fee. While some sites require users to purchase special software or membership levels in order to access full episodes of a show or movie, other streaming websites simply provide a selection of popular shows at no cost.
Forms Of Online Piracy
Streaming television shows is a relatively new phenomenon. Most of the major networks and channels offer some form of on-demand online television, but because they are still relatively new, they are less well known. The lack of mainstream exposure can be seen in the pricing of many digital piracy products. Many programs are available for free, while major pay per view options (including games, movies, and music) can cost as much as $50 per month.
Other forms of online piracy are more overt. Full video downloads, also known as “ripping” videos from websites, are illegal. Many sites that allow file sharing also allow viewers to copy video. This allows them to make copies of any file they wish to distribute. It can be done through physical copying or by using an online program. Full video downloads often require the use of a digital video decoder, which is a type of video compression software that alters the video stream in order to remove any defects or to adjust the quality of the stream in order to improve its quality and compression ratio.
Although there’s no doubt about it, file sharing is illegal. Whether it involves free or paid sources, the distribution of pirated material is illegal. It may not have been obvious to the average person over the past few years, but downloading pirated material is illegal. Those who distribute pirated materials can face steep fines and possibly jail time.