Testimony by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) submitted to the US House Judiciary Committee in September claimed that that “access to legitimate alternatives is the best way to fight online piracy.”
But, despite the explosion of video programming available through legitimate channels online – for example, as cited in the Motion Picture Association’s THEME report for the theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market environment for 2019 – CreativeFuture notes that “105 million U.S. visits to pirate sites for movies alone, just in the month of February 2020.” In February, the coronavirus pandemic had yet to have much impact.
March visits increased to more than 137 million, and in April, nearly 150 million, according to data from MUSO cited by CreativeFuture.
Why it matters
This research underscores that making more content available through a greater number of legitimate distribution channels has not resulted in reduced piracy. In fact, the opposite is true, and early research shows that COVID-19 has made the problem even worse.
The Copyright Alliance, CreativeFuture and a variety of rights holders agree that improvements to the Notice and Takedown system defined in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act will help reduce infringement. A variety of hearings and workshops have been held by government agencies, toward that end.