Internet piracy is a massive industry in this day and age, but unfortunately one of the more hard hit parts of the world seems to be India. It used to be that bootleggers sold physical media like DVDs and CDs out of plastic bags and in market stall, but today most of that piracy has migrated to the world wide web. It might be easy to write off as a criminal problem, but there’s a lot more people out there than you think taking advantage of illegal downloading. Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore have emerged as the main offenders and hotbeds of online pirate activity.
According to the Motion Picture Distributor’s Association, India has one of the highest per capita rates of film piracy from anywhere in the world, possibly fueled by India’s fervent love for all things Bollywood and how important cinema is to the national culture. Going by a 2008 report, film piracy led to the Indian cinema industry losing almost $1,000,000 in gross profits and led to the loss of almost half a million jobs. Most of the pirated films find their way onto the internet after unscrupulous individual take home recording equipment into the cinema on a film’s opening weekend then upload the movie to pirate sites like BitTorrent as quickly as possible. The faster they upload it, the more money the studios and distributors miss out on.
The authorities are trying to fight back in some places. It’s made very difficult, however, by the fact that many of the host sites that house the software platforms for distributing pirated media are scattered around the world in a disparate digital network that’s constantly multiplying. Many films can be watched for absolutely free at new casino online. This makes it very hard to track down offenders, or to intercept illegal material after it’s initially hit the internet and been shared hundreds and thousands of times. Still, there are signs of a crackdown. In 2012 Kerala state police’s online investigation arm recently tracked over a thousand people’s IP addresses who had been illegally downloading the film Bachelor Party which had recently been released. More prompt and accurately targeted responses to cases of piracy like this might make people think twice about trying to watch new movies illegally.
If you want to understand the phenomenon of modern internet piracy, you have to look at how the websites that facilitate the distribution and downloading of pirated media make their money. The vast majority generate revenue through advertising plastered on their websites. While you’d assume to content would be as shady as the websites themselves, some adverts for well known legitimate websites can pop up as well, which calls into question the honesty of advertising giants like Google and Yahoo who claim that they’re operations are anti-piracy. In any case, India is just one country out of many that has a public with a ravenous appetite for free media. The problem is global, and can’t be attributed to any one country. Unless India can find a way to launch streaming sites like Netflix that make paying for content an attractive, good value proposition, it looks like internet piracy is here to stay