NetNames study says piracy still an increasing problem
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 14:09
Downloading unlicensed content illegally off of the internet – aka piracy - is still a growing problem today, according to a study by the website NetNames.
According to a report by NBCUniversal, 432 million users sought pirated content in January.
Some students do not have enough money to spend on all the music, movies and textbooks that they want. So, they download them off of the internet for free.
“I don’t have a lot of money, so it is easier for me to watch movies I want to see online instead of going to the movies all the time,” one student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said.
According to David Price, NetNames director of piracy analysis, the number of users and amount of piracy has increased in the past couple of years. NetNames’s study included North America, Europe, and the Far East to see how the amount of online piracy has changed in the past two years. Illegal activity like this, however, is not a victimless crime.
Illegally downloading from the internet greatly affects people in the entertainment industry, Price said. Continually pirating copyrighted materials off of the internet means that there are necessarily going to be fewer people paying for what they obtain. This means that the money does not go to the people who created the product.
“I don’t illegally download, because I don’t want to take money out of other people’s pockets,” another SHSU student said.
Even though there are students who do feel like it is wrong, there are many who don’t share this perspective.
Some students who pirate don’t see it as stealing. Because the media isn’t tangible, they say,
“Whenever I want to watch a movie or TV show I just download it so I don’t have to pay for it. I never see it as stealing,” another student said.
Price said when the piracy site Megaupload was shut-down in January 2012, many thought that it meant that online piracy would decrease. Since then five more of the top piracy sites have gone offline.
“I use to watch Megaupload, but when it was turned off that stopped me from streaming movies online,” one college student said. “It kind of freaked me out.”
However sites that just stream videos, without downloading files to a user’s computer, have risen in numbers. Price said that they make money on their sites from pop up ads.
NetNames’ study also included the downloading of music and books that has grown alongside pirated video content. Many students do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on books when they can download a PDF file online. Some however never feel the need to download books, but do not have a problem downloading music.
“I used to download music. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but I didn’t know people could download books. I wouldn’t do it,” another student said.