Five Truths about Streaming Video Piracy

Five Truths about Streaming Video Piracy

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Back in the 2000s, if you wanted to pirate your favourite movie or music, it was a whole production. Pirates were like undercover agents, smuggling cameras into cinemas or enduring marathon TV schedules just to capture a show. Downloaders had to invest in storage, high-speed internet, and constantly worry about viruses.

But today, it’s a different story. Everything’s online, and piracy has become way too easy. Pirates now use advanced software to copy content or tap into confidential sources for backend files. With super-fast mobile internet, they’ve gone mobile, streaming pirated stuff on the fly. No more laptops or desktops are needed. It’s all about illegal online streaming now.

Let’s face it, piracy isn’t cool. It hurts creators and the industry. So, join us as we explore five eye‑opening truths about streaming video piracy.

Spoiler alert: there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

Primary Causes of Piracy:

Certainly, let’s delve into the primary causes of piracy, unravelling the motivations behind this widespread phenomenon:

The Love for Freebies: It’s no secret that people adore getting something for free. The allure of accessing premium content without opening your wallet is hard to resist.

High Costs of Legitimate Access: Legal streaming platforms often require multiple subscriptions for various shows or movies. This can become quite expensive, prompting some to turn to piracy as a cost-effective alternative.

Regional Availability: When a show or movie gains popularity in one part of the world but isn’t readily available elsewhere, the temptation to pirate it surges. Global connectivity fuels this desire for content that isn’t easily accessible in one’s own region.

Delayed Releases: Sometimes, international releases are staggered, leading to piracy. Fans eager to avoid spoilers may resort to pirated copies rather than waiting for an official release.

One-Time Viewing: Subscribing to a platform for a single show or event can feel impractical. This is especially true for live content like sports or one-time events.

Anti-Big Corporation Sentiment: For some, piracy is like a small act of resistance against giant production companies. They think these bigwigs make tons of cash from theatres and subscriptions, so a bit of piracy won’t dent their fortunes.

Peer Influence: When everyone around you is indulging in piracy, it’s easy to assume it’s the norm. Peer pressure and the normalization of piracy can play a significant role in people’s decisions to engage in it.

In essence, piracy isn’t driven by a single cause but rather a combination of factors, from cost considerations to convenience and a touch of rebellion. Understanding these drivers provides valuable insights into tackling this complex issue.


Truths about Streaming Video Piracy:

  1. Illicit IPTV Networks Are the Real Deal
  • When you think of piracy, you might picture sketchy websites and social media antics. But the true piracy powerhouse is something else entirely – illicit IPTV networks.
  • These crafty networks mimic the look and feel of legitimate streaming services, offering a treasure trove of channels and premium content at a fraction of the cost.
  • According to a survey, there are nearly 30,000 pirate networks scattered worldwide. It’s a whole different ballgame.
  1. Password Sharing
  • Sharing passwords for streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime has practically become a global pastime.
  • Surprise, surprise – Netflix recently decided to make it even simpler for folks to share their credentials with friends beyond their household, although with a slight price bump.
  • The question is: will this move put an end to password sharing? Time will tell.
  1. Pirates Aren’t Just Geeky Robin Hoods
  • Remember the cliché image of geeks in hoodies, thinking they’re modern-day Robin Hoods? Well, it’s time to shatter that stereotype.
  • Pirates are more like sharp-suited businesspeople, running a well-structured hierarchy. At the top, you’ve got the “godfathers,” and below them, a troop of resellers connecting directly with subscribers.
  • The equation is pretty straightforward: stolen content equals free content, and it’s turning in a tidy profit.
  1. DRM Isn’t the Only Sheriff in Town
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been the go-to guardian for years, but the rise of OTT services shook things up.
  • With the proliferation of unmanaged devices like smartphones and smart TVs, pirates have more opportunities to strike.
  • Launching a piracy service is as easy as ordering takeout, thanks to user-friendly tools. Pirates can even pose as legitimate apps and strip away DRM protections.
  • They employ CDNs to give multiple clients network access, sidestepping concurrency limits and grabbing all the necessary licenses and access tokens.
  • The end result? Illegal streams find their way to various piracy platforms, and someone else gets left with the CDN bill.
  1. Tech Is the Pirate Buster, but Not the Only One
  • Piracy is a cybercrime, and pirates are tech-savvy criminals. So, naturally, tech is our ally in this battle.
  • Tech solutions like watermarking can help spot content leaks, monitoring illegal streams that disrupts pirate operations, and various tools combat password sharing.
  • However, remember that tech isn’t a magic wand – it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

The Takeaway:

It’s crystal clear that streaming video piracy is a massive problem that’s here to stay, with India alone losing a whopping 30% of annual revenue to this digital menace. Unfortunately, younger generations seem to accept it as the norm, posing a serious challenge.

To fight this tide, platforms are employing various tactics, from digital rights management to content watermarking. However, experts predict that more failures and mergers are on the horizon, which might only boost piracy further.

But here’s the twist: the real battle against piracy begins with public awareness, education, law enforcement, policy making, etc. The biggest enemy here is our own indifference. It’s time for a change. Wake up and smell the coffee, piracy is killing the entertainment industry and must be dealt with.

“Downloading dreams or stealing streams? The choice defines digital ethics.”

Why AiPlex Sends Copyright Strikes?

Why AiPlex Sends Copyright Strikes?

This article is for those of you whose channels were brought down because of YouTube’s Copyright strike and also those of whose channels are not yet…
If you’re a YouTuber, you must be aware of YouTube’s Copyright Policy. Copyright strike is a nightmare for YouTubers.

YouTube’s Copyright Policy: Know in-depth

YouTube’s copyright policy is designed to address the issues of copyright infringement and to protect the rights of content creators. YouTube makes it clear that the use of unauthorized content is unacceptable.

Three strikes against the channel and it’s gone! Content ID is YouTube’s automated, scalable system that enables copyright owners to identify YouTube videos that include content they own. YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria.  A database of copyright ownership is set by the content owners.  Three unheeded and un‑appealed copyright strikes and YouTube could permanently delete your channel.

What is AiPlex Software Pvt. Ltd.?

AiPlex Software Pvt. Ltd, is India’s 1st online anti-piracy company that helps content owners to protect content across all digital platforms, i.e., social media, search engines, mobile apps, streaming platforms, etc., serving 200+ corporate clients with customized content protection solutions for over 13 years.

Why Does AiPlex Send Copyright Notices to YouTube Users?

Because they are engaged by content owners to protect copyrighted content in the online space as simple as that.  Now, let’s dig deeper…

AiPlex is entrusted with the task of protecting content in the online space. On YouTube, it is authorized by content owners to act on their behalf and take action against any infringement.

AiPlex sends copyright notice If the YouTuber uses:

  1. Copyrighted music in the background
  2. Thumbnails containing copyrighted images, posters, etc.
  3. A whole movie/episodes/dialogues/scenes
  4. Movie Clips (whether it is 4 sec or 40 seconds, you can’t use someone’s content without their consent)
  5. Misuse of fair use policy (giving credits doesn’t mean it’s okay to use authorized content)

While sending a copyright notice, AiPlex (or any company for that matter) is bound to comply with YouTube guidelines and policies and provide evidence to YouTube including details such as contact information, infringing URL, and copyright certificate.

Whenever AiPlex discovers that content is being misused (intentionally or unintentionally), it intervenes and notifies the user as well as YouTube of the violation. By doing so, AiPlex ensures that the legitimate rights of content creators are safeguarded.

What Can You Do to Resolve a Copyright Strike?

  • Delete the video immediately and inform the complainant.
  • Request the complainant to retract their copyright notice.
  • Wait for 90 days until the copyright strike expires. Don’t repeat the same mistake again!
  • File a counter-notification if you think your video is removed by mistake, and it comes under fair use policy.

Drop us a line if you need help in protecting your content across the online space.

OTT Streaming Services & Piracy in India

OTT Streaming Services & Piracy in India

Spoilt for Choices

There are more than 40 OTT platforms in India that offer original and exclusive content.  At least 5 new OTT platforms are launched every month. Why then do customers in India still seek out and watch pirated content?

You Don’t Find What You Need

Take the case of Naveen, a middle-level executive.  He subscribes to Amazon Prime and Sony Liv but then many of his favorite films and TV shows are not available on either of these platforms.

These OTT platforms compete with each other by offering “exclusive content” and “original programming” and that is exactly where the problem lies.  It is not financially viable or practical to subscribe to all OTT platforms.

With this multitude of new entrants in the OTT space, content aggregation has become fragmented.  It is impossible for any individual platform to provide enough choice to end consumers. In the absence of a legal one-stop shop for popular movies, TV shows, web series, sporting events, etc., people resort to pirated content.

Pirates Offer This Choice

However, pirates who run illegal streaming services aggregate content from multiple video streaming services into a single interface.  Open-source video players and the same technology that OTT platforms use make this possible.

What Should OTT Platforms Do?

In addition to implementing a slew of security measures like DRM, watermarking, fingerprinting, etc., they should enlist the services of companies that offer customized anti piracy solutions for OTT platforms.

OTT Streaming Services & Piracy in India

India’s First Online Anti Piracy Company Could be That Choice

We at AiPlex are not only pioneers in providing anti piracy solutions to Bollywood theatrical releases and the top OTT platforms in India but have also stood the test of time by protecting OTT content way back from 2010.  All the big names in the OTT space bank on us.

We understand the piracy ecosystem like no other and are able to disrupt piracy at a visceral level.

People find unlicensed content invariably through search engines and social media platforms.  Through an SEO-optimized process of detecting, reporting, and removing infringing listings instantly, we create a clean SERP environment.

Our tie-up with payment gateways, our legal expertise, connection with ISPs, coordination with enforcement agencies ensures that you make the most of your content portfolio and its monetization potential.

Drop us a line, we will let you know how!

Digital Piracy: How Does It Impact Sales?

Digital Piracy: How Does It Impact Sales?

Piracy has always been there!

Right from the beginning of professional movie production, piracy has been there in different forms; be it bicycling (unauthorized extended shows in theatres) in the silent movie era, pirated CDs, camcorder recordings, or the current trend of restreaming of linear content.

But Does Digital Piracy Impact Sales?

This has been an eternal question that begs an answer.  It depends on whom you ask and which side of the debate they stand on.

The Answer Could Be an Emphatic Yes-It Is Not That Simple Though!

There are statistical studies that say that piracy has no impact on sales.

On the other hand, there is a report that estimates that the Indian media and entertainment industry loses some 820,000 jobs and revenue equivalent to $4 billion each year to piracy and counterfeiting.

Factors That Might Help Us To Put The Debate to Rest

There are 2 interrelated factors that show up in almost all studies and reports on the impact of piracy on sales and they are the “displacement rate of piracy” and “audiences’ willingness to pay”

Displacement Rate:  A study of the recent top box-office hits reveals that for every 10 movies watched illegally 4 fewer movies are watched legally, which means there is a displacement rate of 40%.  These displacement rates translate to 5% less sales or revenue. Tidbit:  Piracy competes more with theatre tickets than it does with downloads.

Audiences’ Unwillingness to Pay: A study also revealed that 4 out of 5 consumers were unwilling to pay the market rate for film and TV shows.  If they could watch something for free, they would.

These 2 data points imply that piracy impacts sales either by displacing potential consumption or directing audiences to unlicensed free content for those unwilling to pay market prices.

The Third Dimension

The cultural aspect of piracy:  The society at large doesn’t see viewing pirated content as something immoral or illegal.  Societies increasingly condone piracy on different ideological grounds.  An average consumer accessing pirated content with a simple Google search without any qualms or reservations about watching pirated content does really impact sales and revenues.

Piracy is no longer confined to tech-savvy users and the dark web. It is a digital product like any other and is impacting sales by billions of dollars.

Does Piracy Impact Sales?

What Should the Content Owners Do?

Piracy if not effectively dealt with could sound like a death knell for the media and entertainment industry.

Content owners should partner with a company that is at the forefront of fighting digital piracy in all its forms and has been successful at it; AiPlex is one such. 

Just drop us a line and we will formulate a plan that is customized just for you.

Online Piracy is Illegal, Do You Know Why?

Online Piracy is Illegal, Do You Know Why?

Meh, So, what if I just downloaded one song off of the internet for free. That hurts nobody, no one needs to know. The diva makes millions of bucks anyway. A loss of few bucks just means peanuts to her!

Why should I spend my hard-earned cash on movie tickets? When I can access them from the comfort of my home with just a few clicks?

Online piracy is perceived as a victimless crime; something that absolutely hurts no one. This is quite obvious, a shallow argument. Online piracy is a crime. Pirating content is illegal because it results in a lost sale for the copyright owner be it movies, series, games, shows, videos, music, or books. It’s illegal because it deprives the content creator of his rightful dues for all the efforts that he/she and the team have put in.


  • Illegal streaming services account for more than 80% of global online piracy.
  • Online pirated videos receive 230 billion views in a year
  • Piracy websites received 130.5 billion visits in the year 2020
  • India ranks 4th amongst the top 10 countries with 5.6 billion visits for online piracy sites.
  • According to the estimates, the Indian film industry loses about Rs. 22,000 crores and 60,000 jobs in a year due to online piracy.
  • Book publishers incur a loss of Rs 400 crores every year.
  • 20-25% of books sold in India are pirated.
stop online piracy

How does online piracy occur?

Leakage of original content: In the case of music, series, or movies, an insider from the team who has access to original content would resort to leaking original content and sell it for a lesser price in the market.

Recording movies in theatres: Some people resort to recording the entire movie and sell them illegally. Although the sound quality and video quality are quite bad in a normal recording, it still gets sold in the market as it is watchable.

Stream recording: People also record live streams of certain movies through screen recording devices and sell them. With the help of software online, pirates use DVD and Blu-ray discs to record original content.

Why does online piracy occur?

  • One of the biggest reasons for online piracy is the inherent reluctance to pay and watch. People want everything for free, and websites like bit torrent, media max and traditional PFP applications only make it easier.
  • Some people resort to illegal downloading; simply because they cannot afford it due to financial troubles.
  • Other people pirate content to make a profit by reselling.
  • With the help of pirated content, hackers infect devices by spreading viruses and trojans.
  • A lot of people fail to understand that online piracy is theft which makes it illegal.

The outcome of online piracy

Companies involved in pirating illegal software are susceptible to infringements and copyright violations. The Indian constitution has a copyright act of 1957, under section 13, which protects all literary works, musical works, artistic works, dramatic works, sound recordings and cinematograph films. As per the cinematograph act of 2019, the government of India punishes individuals who resort to illegally recording movies without the written consent of producers. The penalty is a jail term of up to 3 years and a fine of Rs. 10 lakhs.

Apart from legal trouble, they also make themselves vulnerable to viruses and malware when they expose their networks and individual devices. The infected systems create an opportunity for hackers to install ransomware or malware. Downloading from torrent comes with its own risk because the ones who download are selling as well. A public IP address makes it easy to track.

How to stop online piracy

  • The only way to protect yourself from online piracy is to stop downloading content for free.
  • Avoid purchasing software from sellers who insist on making backup copies.
  • Ensure that the software products are authentic and consist of manuals, license, warranties and service policies.
  • Check for seals and holograms on CDs or DVDs you purchase.

Contact the experts

Aiplex prides itself in being India’s first antipiracy company with more than 12+ years of domain expertise. It has helped take down infringed content across various platforms, verify over a million URLs, detect fake websites and eradicate unlicensed content for over 200+ content owners.

Pirates are Superfans-Audience Insights

Pirates are Superfans-Audience Insights


The piracy audience is often superfans who have a very direct, engaging, and obsessive relationship with the content he/she watches. They go to great lengths to search, find, illegally stream or download content. These are valuable high-intent customers that consume content but do not pay for content as of yet.

AiPlex Business Research-Audience Insights

Over the past 12+ years, we have been monitoring and tracking trillions of visits, views, and downloads of pirated content.  AiPlex Business Research team continues to build an exhaustive database and an unparalleled understanding of fan behavior. This data offers rich and predictive insights into content demand and consumption. It gives you actual data on demand for your content; you can formulate content strategies and customer acquisition around this data.

Digital Marketing for Content Owners

The content protection team has found a great ally in the digital marketing team of AiPlex Digital.  The SEO experts, social media superstars, online advertisement gurus have all joined hands in researching keywords, competitor analysis, behavioral targeting, search engine traffic, Google analytics, etc.

Monetizing Piracy-Value-Addition from our Anti Piracy Solutions

We have a very counter-intuitive product for you.  As an anti-piracy company, while we protect your content successfully against all sorts of piracy, our business research product will give actionable insights to your marketing and distribution teams.  In essence, there is a large unmonetized audience for your content.  In order for you to monetize this demand for content, AiPlex will share data that can be used to predict which territories and regions have an unsatiated demand for your content way ahead of the release date. Digital advertising campaigns can be targeted at these audience segments.

Antipiracy Solutions

We Have Heard Good Things

We have already rolled out our product to a select group of our long-term customers.  The feedback has been great and there is a great deal of excitement.  Our data is being used by these customers to plan releases, pricing, and distribution strategies, implement both offline and digital marketing strategies; internationally, as well as, regionally with remarkable success.

To find about more about how AiPlex Business Research & Audience Insights can help you with your marketing and distribution strategy, please drop us a line.

Intelligence-Driven Approach to Anti Piracy

Intelligence-Driven Approach to Anti Piracy

What we are witnessing now is not only a spurt in piracy but an unheard-of sophistication and complexity with which content is pirated, distributed, and monetized. Online piracy is a full-fledged parallel industry; its bigger, bolder, innovative, and definitively more lucrative than it ever was.

Today’s pirate is no more that loner, nerdy teenager from some godforsaken place sharing movies and popular shows on torrents just for the thrills.  It is an organized criminal network running highly profitable businesses by using sophisticated technology.

They are causing serious damage:  By 2023, video piracy is expected to cost $67 billion in economic losses globally.  They’re poaching audiences, bleeding legitimate businesses, and putting at risk individuals too.

Conventionally, anti piracy companies have fought piracy with methods like DMCA notifications, ISP blocking, copyright enforcement, court orders, etc.   Yes, these methods are efficient but then new challenges require new approaches.

What is intelligence-driven approach to piracy?

Intelligence-driven approach to anti piracy is this new approach.  It uses insights from technology‑driven data and data gathered by AiPlex cybersecurity specialists.

They answer very elementary but crucial questions.

  • How is your content being pirated at the moment?
  • How is your content likely to be pirated in the future?
  • What is that you should do to plug these vulnerabilities? 

Intelligence-driven approach in action

One of the most popular OTT platforms in India, a big powerhouse, approached us to help them with piracy.  Our team used machine learning, behavioral data, and an in-house blacklist of rogue IPTV services to identify 38 illegal IPTV services that were piggybacking on the popularity of our client and stealing our client’s content.  We used our own patented methods and identified the source of the leaks and shared it with the client for legal and other remedial actions.  We used our conventional methods (including collaborating with payment gateways) to disrupt their services. Most of them (32 of them to be precise) had to shut shop and other had to move away. 78% reduction in piracy was the happy outcome.  This was a major validation of how intelligence-driven approach together with our conventional methods could give us that edge in fighting digital piracy.

Intelligence-driven anti piracy can help you dominate search results

Every day, users perform billions of searches through search engines, websites, and social media. This is how your customers find you, but unfortunately the same search engines and platforms also index and show pirated content from torrents, cyber lockers, and streaming sites.

Keeping search results clean is more important than ever, especially for a content company.

AiPlex uses search analysis and keyword research to identify copyright infringements in each search. We then enforce copyright and delist infringing search results. Obviously, driving traffic to licensed and paid-for content.  If you need a proven content protection solution that is futuristic and stood the test of time for over a decade now, drop us a line, we will customize an anti piracy solution best suited for your needs.