Torrentz is back: piracy can ‘sleep’, not die

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Updated: August 9, 2016 7:50:38 PM

Shutting down of the torrentz was a vital step to stop the crime of piracy. Or that is what media houses, game companies, tv and movie producers would like to believe.

torrentz shut down, kickass torrents, Kat.cr, torrent, torrents comeback, kickass When Kickass torrents was shut down, mirror sites were launched as if their sole purpose was to celebrate a martyr. (Reuters)

Shutting down of the torrentz was a vital step to stop the crime of piracy. Or that is what media houses, game companies, tv and movie producers would like to believe. But they would be really naive to do so. The shutting of piratebay was supposed to be a big step in stopping piracy, but Kat.cr or the Kickass torrents took over. When Kickass torrents was shut down, mirror sites were launched as if their sole purpose was to celebrate a martyr. Torrentz went down a week ago. A mirror site has taken its place on Tuesday. The average internet user who does not want to buy a DVD doesn’t believe in monogamy when it comes to torrent sites. Whatever provides the best service works. As a matter of fact, piracy had affected media companies long before torrents were introduced. it all began when recordable media was introduced.

Though the loss suffered by these companies cannot be possibly estimated. But according to an estimate, India loses $ 2.5 billion every year on piracy. For example, with 1485 active links of “Bahubali” available online, the movie had been downloaded illegally 24.76 lakh times. Let us take a moment to calculate the price of 24.76 lakh tickets. But to argue, all of these people will not watch the movie in theaters. But even half the DVD sales of this movie would amount to a huge sum. To quantify, the total loss of the Telegu film industry comes up to a massive Rs. 1,064 Crores. Bbahubali’s worldwide income was Rs. 586.45 crores. Let us try and imagine the same situation with Rajnikanth movie. The loss will seriously overshadow the profits of the movie.

The situation with games is a tad different. Most pirated games and apps available online will not give the consumer the full service, that the paid version delivers. Though in a report from Arxan technologies in 2015, an applications security company showed that nearly 1 million pirated assets were discovered. The study reviewed pirated assets and found out that nearly 50% of all games played have been pirated assets. The revenue lost to pirated games was approximately $74.1 billion in 2014 while the gaming industry made $83.6 billion in profits in 2015. Moreover, the popularity of these sites attracts a lot of advertisers. The largest piracy websites garnered a total of at least $200 million in 2015. Moreover, piracy of online games have affected the gameplay and caused trouble to the consumers. The game Demigod by Stardock was pirated before launch and had a massive server load – 18,000 validated users and 140,000 concurrent users. This simply prevented anyone from playing.

It is true that piracy has some benefits, such as helping in increasing in the popularity of a lesser known game or a movie. But then, it doesn’t profit the makers financially. The rise of Netflix and other legal online portals have reduced piracy to some extent but even they do not contain the vastness of media that piracy sites have by sharing of contents over a long period of time. Some game and app developers have come up with online subscriptions and free trials for the consumers. But then once the free trials get over, the game becomes a tad boring and the price tag seems too high. With music CDs, the legally available CDs, mostly have the entire album, basically forcing the customer to pay for the entire haystack when he can just “magnet” the needle. Movie DVDs too come out much later, after the film has run its course in the theatres, by which time it becomes a really long wait for the viewers. Also with the latest trend of slicing of juicy parts of the movies in the theatres and releasing them on DVDs has made the fans less interested in theatres.

In all honesty, piracy cannot be stopped until fundamental measures are taken. Arrests of founders of torrent sites and piracy thieves are a way to go but then, the content remains online. And once online, always online.

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