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  • Ravi Sharma

Pirates of the Content World

Pirates of the Content World
The story of Treasure Pirates and Content Pirates

Pirates in older times focussed mainly on three areas. A target, transport (usually pirate ships) and a place to hide treasure. I am sure they never thought about leaving a legacy for modern content pirates. The modus operandi has changed but the impact on money or revenue has not changed much. The world has moved from violent pirate attacks to more sophisticated attacks on content and revenue.

Treasure pirates usually focussed on rich ports/cities and the content pirates unsurprisingly focus on premium content and applications. Piracy of content has major impact on revenues. According to a recent KPMG report and projection for 2022, the revenues are expected to be around ₹33,800 Crores. And as per various different researches, OTT companies lose 30% to 40% of the revenues due to piracy.

For transport, treasure pirates usually relied on ships. Remember the Black Pearl, from Pirates of the Caribbean! After the heist, those Pirates used to run away in those notorious ships. Content pirates in modern times, rely on technology including pirate websites, applications like ThopTV, Torrents, Piratebay etc. Most of these platforms carry premium content from leading OTT players globally thereby putting a dent in the revenues. These platforms include Original content, movies and Sports.

After the heist, the treasure pirates used to store the loot at some remote locations usually away from the navy’s reach. These storage points were on isolated islands or caves in many cases. Likewise the modern content pirates also store the pirated content on servers deployed in countries where jurisdiction is relatively weaker. In many cases they rely on VPN and dark web to hide themselves even if they work from the locations where laws are stronger.

And finally to stop the treasure pirates, the Navy’s used to deploy security personnel and enforce the ports to keep the pirates away. There were raids by the navy to catch hold of the looted treasure. And on the same lines, modern content security professionals rely on mechanisms like DRM, Watermarking, Authentication etc for security of content from the pirates. Content or OTT service providers also take help of government authorities to catch hold of pirates and their physical locations for servers and technology.

And one parting note – Do not think of modern content pirates as Jack Sparrow. They are much more dangerous and impact the pockets of content houses and OTT platforms massively.

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