One of the first things we learned how to do when our Internet started speeding up was how to get free flicks. Pirating movies was nothing new–there have been pirated video cassettes sold on the streets of New York City and elsewhere since the beginning of the camcorder. However, once the Internet became popular, piracy became ever more prevalent, first with newsgroups, then with peer-to-peer (p2p) software such as Napster, WinMX and Limewire, then with bittorrents from places like Isohunt and Demonoid, and most recently by HTTP download from hosting services like Rapidshare, commonly referred to as “warez” (pronounced wears). As Internet speeds have gotten faster, many people can now get an HD movie over the net faster than running out to the video store.
The recent FBI takedown of MegaUpload and the subsequent voluntary closure of services like FileSonic has caused me to reflect on the longevity of film piracy over the web. Such public displays of force from the United States government has caused many Americans to fear they might be in personal danger, and by going after an international company they’ve shown that they aren’t even limited by their own borders!
Finally, I believe the factor that makes the end foreseeable is the relatively recent arrival of legal video downloading/streaming sources. With Hulu offering free TV shows to American users, Netflix only charging a small monthly fee for unlimited movies and TV shows, and services like iTunes Movies and the most recent arrival, YouTube Movies, to fill the gaps, I suspect that film piracy will soon see a dramatic drop in popularity. Sure, there will always be those among us who are deadset on pirating as a matter of principle, but I think that those of us who have simply been pirating movies as a matter of convenience may finally feel ready to switch to using the legal route.
About Jeremy Andrews
Freelance PHP/MySQL developer, tech support guy, travel agent, transit photographer, and lover of poutine. Jeremy Andrews is a young guy from Montreal, Canada who enjoys writing about technology, can develop a website, and can do your travel arrangements! Contact him today at email@example.com for more info on any of these services.