Gone are the days when musicians and artists would record albums, go on tours, and make all the money. With the advent of the internet, YouTube houses all the music and tour videos, and music streaming services have all the songs. That would be the ideal way of streaming and appreciating the creators, but it isn’t.
Research conducted by Muso shared that “in 2017, users of pirate sites made 73.9 billion visits to illegally access music and 53.2 billion visits to download or stream movies.” Putting ourselves in the creator’s shoes is a big setback, and the numbers have only grown since.
Even with this shocking research, we see a rise in endorsements of pirated sites or websites that share the best VPN for streaming Netflix in UK or US, or anywhere. For every VPN or pirated site that is taken down, there’s another one up for use. Another statistic shows that “the VPN industry is expected to reach $31.1 billion in 2021.”
As responsible netizens, we must bar ourselves from such piracy and tackle geo-piracy for all streaming services. Not only is this an illegal and unethical use of the internet, but the sites also carry more danger than can be imagined. The creators deserve to receive their worth and here’s why its high time to tackle geo-piracy for all the content online:
The intrusion of viruses
Whoever said, ‘the best things in life are free’, they weren’t talking about movies or TV shows. Many users who have opted for free VPNs have lost their most valuable data to unwanted viruses. During the download process, we all click ‘agree’ to anything pushed in our way but what if you ‘agreed’ to give away sensitive information.
Remind yourself this is the dark side of the internet. There is no black and white when surfing on the pirated site. If you add a free VPN to the process, you run the risk of inviting potential malware into your devices.
Admittedly, VPNs have their use and are important in some areas like offices and public space internet surfing. They are a way of securing the browsing experience and can protect your devices from unwanted viruses. But using a free VPN to access such sites can be problematic. One of the biggest entry points for ransomware comes from free VPN usage.
The downfall of content value
The content creators of the 21st century are at risk due to geo-piracy and lose billions of dollars every year. Putting ourselves in their shoes, it is unjust to see such crafted content stolen and streamed for free. If we talk about the millions of dollars of the budget set for movies and TV show productions, they sometimes cannot even surpass their budget in case their content gets leaked.
Before COVID-19, there used to be cam-quality movies illegally uploaded on piracy sites, just days after the release. Cinemas have made efforts to ban recordings during shows but what about the streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.
Paid users of such streaming sites can easily hack in to spoil the controlled access of the movie. It is a matter of ethics and must be stopped.
How to tackle geo-piracy?
To put an end to geo-piracy that plagues the internet, there are remedial efforts that need to be enforced. As strong as the VPN services are becoming, so should the infrastructures of streaming services that allow content creators to earn and grow. The ways to tackle this piracy include:
- Legally purchasing streaming services and not employing any recording tools to create copies of the work.
- Using Enhanced Proxy Detectors. This applies to the services like Spotify, Netflix, Apple Music, etc. These proxy detectors can trace the I.P address of the user and can find out whether the user is viewing from a VPN-provided I.P address or from actual. Netflix app currently has this feature that no movie or TV show can be recorded by any external recording service. Netflix is continuously trying to detect VPN users and ban their use of the service.
- Stop using VPNs for streaming services. We cannot deny the importance of VPNs, as our security and privacy are a number one concern. If possible, we can stop using VPNs altogether.
Many companies offer Enhanced proxy detection, and if you are a content creator, you should ensure your content is safe and secure. While these proxy detectors slowly evolve to stop geo-piracy, we should take a stand against pirated content and report all illegal streaming and content sites.