Online piracy really rose into the public view back when Napster took over the online music scene. The site, which was shut down back in 2001, was still in the relatively early days of the internet, but it showed just how easy it was for people to essentially steal digital files.
That is still true today. People pirate all sorts of files, including music files. However, the rise of other types of digital media -- TV shows, books, movies, etc -- means there are more targets now than there ever have been before. When you combine that with faster internet speeds, it makes piracy even more common. It used to take hours to download one album of music, but the internet is now fast enough for most people to stream entire shows in real time.
In fact, a significant portion of these copyright issues revolves around TV. Here are a few key statistics to keep in mind:
- People go to piracy sites about 300 billion times per year. With many users downloading multiple files, that's an incredible amount of data changing hands.
- About one-third of the illegally downloaded or streamed content stems from television shows. Other common files include movies, music, books, computer programs, pictures and audiobooks.
- These statistics are actually rising, at least for television piracy, even though legal streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are as popular as ever.
Online piracy is clearly here to stay, and the impact gets greater every year. If you have your content stolen in any fashion, make sure you know what legal steps you can take.