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Pirated movies and streaming spike during quarantine


Pirated movies and streaming spike during quarantine


The pandemic is driving users to pirated movie websites in greater numbers than ever before, according to piracy tracking firms.

Data provided to Vice by London-based Muso TNT show that between February 20 and March 20, visits to pirated movie websites by users in both the U.S. and UK jumped 31 percent. The data shows similar growth in Spain (35 percent), Portugal (37 percent), India (33 percent), and Germany (30 percent), with Italy the highest overall at 50 percent. In just one month in the U.S. alone, the firm tracked 137 million page views to more than 19,000 websites offering streaming and BitTorrent access to pirated films, and more than 601 million page views of sites offering access to pirated TV content. The company says its data originates from an “industry-leading website traffic data provider.”

The kind of piracy rates that used to be exclusive to weekends now occur all week long due to the pandemic, the company said.

Downloads for pandemic related movies rise

Pirates seem particularly interested in more apocalyptic fare, with pirated views of 2011’s Contagion and 2013’s Pandemic jumping 152 percent and 240 percent, respectively. Researchers found that while pirated film access has surged, access to pirated live TV streams has seen slower growth due to the cancellation of sporting events.

The company also said that VPN users are excluded from their tallies, meaning actual piracy rates could be notably higher.

Also read: Activist Ammar Ali Jan calls out Nishat and Gul Ahmed for allegedly firing workers

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