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Digital Piracy: Protect Your Content from Digital Pirates

Most of the content that is created today is available on the Internet. We are moving towards an age where digital content shall be the talk of the day. In such a situation, Digital Piracy is becoming more and more common in our world now. If it can be put simply, then Digital Piracy is a form of virtual stealing.

Digital Piracy signifies the act of illegal duplication, copying, or sharing the work of a creator digitally, thus in turn breaking all forms of copyright infringement laws. The history of Digital Piracy dates back to the 1970s, when a host of computer hobbyists or hackers commenced a movement whereby they were copying and distributing hard copies of computer games and files to the public. Some of these hackers believed in the ideology that information should be made available to the public.

Even though the beginning of Digital Piracy might have had noble intentions, it has turned out to be a nuisance today. A digital creator might have spent months and years and a large sum of money to create certain content, which ultimately goes to waste due to piracy. Thus, this very act of downloading and distributing intellectual property without the knowledge of the creator can be regarded as a violation of several federal copyright laws.

Digital content cannot be affordable for a lot of individuals. Hence, Digital Piracy has become a long-standing trend. But this is not without its flaws.

The article shall try to give you a comprehensive view of what digital piracy is and its various consequences.

Understanding Digital Piracy

In a nutshell, Digital Piracy involves the illegal distribution and copying of copyrighted material without the knowledge of the creator. Digital Piracy can involve any kind of digital medium. But, in recent times, this term has come to be associated with three kinds of media: music piracy, software piracy, and video piracy.

According to recent studies, it has been observed that Digital Piracy has put online content media at a large risk. For instance, the online digital industry media companies have to pay about a billion dollars every year to ensure that their content is not under the threat of digital piracy. Although the kind of content that faces Digital Piracy can vary from time to time, a brief outline is given below:-

Software

One of the earliest forms of Digital Piracy was carried out on software. Here, the hackers tend to download and share the software application among the general public without the permission of the software developer.

Often, hackers download and share software that has not yet been released in the public domain. This causes the software developers to lose a large sum of money, and they are unable to receive recognition for the work they have created.

Video Games

There are certain video games that can be quite expensive, and thus, it becomes difficult for individuals to afford such games. The Digital Piracy surrounding video games occurs when hackers play or share specific video games without any permission from the ones who developed them.

Ebooks

There is a wide range of books available on the internet today, but they can only be read by subscribing or by paying a certain amount. Digital Piracy has become a sought-after way for several hackers to download manga, comic books, or other kinds of content such as scholarly articles, journals, or research papers.

Music, TV shows, and movies

In the recent world of Digital Piracy, content such as music or movies is the one that is downloaded illegally in the largest numbers. These are downloaded from third-party websites, torrents, or various file-sharing sites.

Why Do People Resort to Digital Piracy?

In many countries around the world, there are various strict laws regarding Digital Privacy. Despite that, a large number of people choose to illegally download copyrighted digital content. Criminologists have found several reasons why individuals resort to digital privacy. While there may be some psychological reasons, there are a few economic and real-time reasons too.

Some of them are mentioned below:

An Increase in Price

It was largely believed that with the advancement of streaming platforms, there would be a lower rate of Digital Piracy cases. But there has been an unprecedented rise in the subscription fees for several of these streaming platforms, like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

This is why it was believed that streaming platforms would provide more accessible and cheaper content than traditional cable platforms. But, with an increase in the price of streaming platforms, individuals are choosing Digital Piracy to illegally download their favourite movies and TV shows.

Improved Technology

When Digital Piracy gained popularity in the 2000s, it was still a very risky affair. In several cases, downloading a pirated file also meant downloading a host of viruses along with it. Now, due to the advancement of anti-virus technology, this is not a pertinent risk and individuals can now easily download any content.

The time taken to download such data has also reduced now. Another technological discovery that greatly helps individuals who are resorting to Digital Piracy is VPNs. Thus, even if authorities try to track down the perpetrator it is often unsuccessful as they can easily hide their IP addresses.

Belief

For some hackers, Digital Piracy stems from an ideology. There are several hackers who believe that the rich companies have a lot of money already. Hence, charging more money from individuals for any kind of digital content is ethically wrong.

These individuals believe that everyone, despite their economic backgrounds, should have a fair chance of watching their favourite shows and movies. Thus, they try to make content more accessible for the less fortunate and give everyone the joy of watching what they prefer.

Consequences of Digital Piracy

Loss of Talent and Money

Several individuals or digital content creators have spent hours creating certain content. They rely on the revenue that will be generated from this content.

When a hacker, by downloading this content illegally from a website, releases it to the public domain, the content creator is not able to receive their due. Most deserving content creators are not able to receive the money that they deserve due to such malpractices. In certain cases, when unreleased content is made public, the talent and hard work that the content creator has put in goes unrecognized.

Ransomware

This is one of the problems faced by individuals who download the duplicated file from third-party sites. When one is downloading an illegal file from an unknown source, it is bound to create some issues. One of the major problems faced by individuals due to Digital Piracy is ransomware.

Several software developers have tried to protect their products by attaching a one-use-only passcode that would keep their software safe from Data Piracy issues. When one purchases the said software from their official website, they will not face any issues. But, whenever individuals end up downloading the file from a torrent site, more often than not, it contains ransomware.

Hence, in such cases, a digital crime is committed as the individual has downloaded a copyrighted work. This would also mean that they are locked out of their computer. Hence, individuals are then left with no choice but to either go to the police or pay the ransomware as asked on the website.

Data Theft

Despite there being a plethora of anti-virus software today, one cannot be assured that the content they are downloading from illegal third-party websites will not have viruses. As has been noticed in several cases, these files have malfunctioning software that is responsible for data theft on the specific computer.

These illegally downloaded files can steal all the information in your email and your back account details and gain access to all of your personal information. Digital Piracy can turn dark, as hackers can carry out financial scams using the information they have received.

Conclusion

Digital Piracy is a concerning issue in the virtual world today. While there can be several motivations behind downloading or duplicating a file, it is a crime as it is a form of intellectual property theft.

Despite there being strict laws in place, people still continue to resort to Digital Piracy. Hence, companies should introduce strict methods such as encryption, access control, and rights management. These methods will be able to deter hackers and make the Internet a safer place.

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David Scott
David Scott
Digital Marketing Specialist .
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