Category: Film

Facebook, a Link in the Piracy Food Chain

The fact that online piracy has flourished over these past few years is nothing new.  Neither is its co-dependence on an ever-efficient distribution network, largely developed and maintained by an assortment of tech enterprises based in Silicon Valley .  Up to this point, Facebook’s role in enabling this plague of piracy has, for the most part, generally been minimized, if not ignored entirely.  But given the ever-expanding influential reach of world’s #1 social network, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the site’s role as a purveyor of pirated content. In the past I’ve written about the popularity...

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Takedown of Megaupload had Positive Result on Movie Sales

According to a study released yesterday by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, last year’s shutdown of the notorious pirate file-sharing hub Megaupload, had a positive impact on movie revenues.  Citing the increase in sales following the popular cyberlocker’s demise,  the researchers (Brett Danaher and Michael Smith) note: …immediately following the shutdown, there was a positive and statistically significant relationship between a country’s sales growth and it’s pre-shutdown Megaupload penetration, such that for each additional 1% (lost) penetration of Megaupload the post-shutdown sales increase was between 2.5% and 3.8% higher (depending on which of our models you believe to be most...

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Netflix Ads + Google Blogspot + Stolen Movies = Piracy Profits

As the Annenberg Innovation Lab releases its February “Ad Transparency Report” on major brands link to advertising on pirates sites it’s also worth taking a look (again) at yet another recent example as to how Google–along with Netflix in this case–continues to incentivize, and monetize, online piracy. This is a Google-hosted website (via their Blogger platform) that features (as of yesterday) active download links to the Hollywood hit “The Dark Knight Rises.”  Note the (Google-served) advertising to the right.  At the top of the list is an ad for Netflix.  Now, I’ve asked this before and I’ll ask it again….Why go...

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Nickel and Dimed to Death? Pirates Profit off DMCA Requests

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.   Some cyberlocker websites that offer file storage, do (eventually) respond to DMCA takedown notices, but in an ironic final twist, a fair number of them have found a way to use copyright violation notifications to their advantage–monetizing requests via pop-up ads. Examples are easy to find.  Today I went to a notorious download site that offers download/streaming links to any number of popular (recent) films.  I chose to find links for the Oscar-nominated “Silver Linings Playbook.”  If you look at the column on the left, you’ll see more than 2 dozen...

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How Are Google’s Anti-Piracy Search Policies Working?

It’s been a few months since Google announced a new initiative designed to lower search results for web-sites reported for piracy.  According to Google, legitimate sites would move up and pirate sites would move down: We aim to provide a great experience for our users and have developed over 200 signals to ensure our search algorithms deliver the best possible results. Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This...

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