(AmericanProsperity.com) – Illegal online streaming has created a new pirating ecosystem worth billions of dollars. Mega-streaming powerhouses such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ say their companies are losing millions of dollars each year to illegal subscription services pretending to be the real deal. One report estimated nine million U.S. subscribers are paying for pirated content, and the trend appears to be getting worse.
Universal and Disney Fire Back
Earlier this month, Universal Studios Productions LLLP, Disney Enterprises Inc., and Netflix U.S. LLC, decided to make an example of two streaming sites and filed a lawsuit saying they infringed on their copyrights. According to the case, AllAccess (AATV) and Quality Restreams sold illegal access to television programs and movies without permission.
A 2019 global study revealed $29.2 billion in lost revenue had been reported annually in the U.S. alone. Filmmakers, producers, and many others who work in the movie industry rely on movie sales for income—people who pirate content take away from that core source.
An Easy Process
While it’s possible customers are not aware they are subscribing to a service that’s providing pirated content, it’s highly likely they do know, especially if they’re getting it for free.
The process to obtain illegal streaming content can be straightforward or complicated, depending on how users approach it. The most common pathway is as follows:
- Download an app.
- Pay a fee of $10 to $20 for the monthly payment.
- Gain access to thousands of streaming videos and online channels.
Some of these streaming services even offer movies that are still out in theaters or complete television series. But, unfortunately, all are ultimately licensed by mega-streaming companies like Netflix or Disney+, which means the app providers essentially commit data theft and copyright violations.
There are other more complex methods for downloading illegal content, such as torrents and dark websites. However, these are much less common as users need to be somewhat technically inclined to understand how to access them.
The lawsuit filed against the two streaming services claims one of them hid their intent by creating websites that appear to sell VPN (Virtual Private Network) software but were actually selling their illegal streaming subscription. At any rate, it doesn’t look good for either of the two streaming sites.
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