In the modern world, piracy is synonymous with copyright infringement. It is the practice of selling or distributing any product without authorization from the owner of the brand or item. In history, the term, which in Greek means to rob, has become popular with reference to individuals who alone or in groups looted ships and cities.
Over the centuries, the practice has evolved, following the transformations in the most varied sectors. And, of course, it came to the digital world. Digital piracy includes the unauthorized use and sale of movies, series , cable TV shows, music, books, software, games, and even educational content such as courses and classes.
Last year alone, there were more than 132 billion accesses to pirated content worldwide, considering television, cinema, music, software, and the publishing market. The data are from the publication Pirates in the Outfield, prepared by the digital content and cybersecurity company Akamai in partnership with MUSO, specialized in monitoring digital content without a license to use.
Among these sectors, the biggest target of piracy is television, with 67 billion accesses last year. Illegal Pay-Tv and streaming open signals are offered in a variety of ways. In addition to direct links, known as IPTV lists, usually marketed on social networks, there are also websites with diverted programming, mobile applications, and boxes, called TV Box, which receive programs pirated by satellite or by internet signal.
Brazil in the list of countries with the highest number of accesses to pirated content
In the ranking of countries that most access pirated content, Brazil appears in fifth place, with 4.5 billion accesses in 2021, behind the United States, Russia, India, and China. The National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP) estimates that the cost of this for the country is R$287 billion. In addition to the financial loss for the producing companies, the account includes taxes that are not collected, and job vacancies not generated.
In the Pay-Tv sector alone, the consumption of illegal content represents an estimated loss of R$15.5 billion per year, according to the Brazilian Association of Pay-Tv (ABTA).
When streaming services began to popularize, many experts believed it would end piracy, due to falling prices to gain access to and consume a varied supply of content, such as series, movies, and music, in addition to the fact that they are now available at the touch of a button.
The report on piracy shows, however, that a part of those who consume these products illegally also pay for streaming services. For experts, the practice of prioritizing the digital channel in product launches and the exclusive offer on a single platform, a strategy adopted by many producers and distributors of films and series, has become a kind of foot shooting. The excess of platforms ends up restricting the menu of available titles, stimulating piracy. Another aspect pointed out by them is the fact that most streaming services do not offer classic and old movies.
To combat piracy, some streaming platforms are adopting blockchain technology. However, there are social and cultural aspects that not even the most advanced technology can solve.