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.”

Brand Piracy: Why Brands Should be Worried?

Brand Piracy: Why Brands Should be Worried?

“Counterfeiting or brand piracy is the largest criminal enterprise globally. The sales of counterfeit and pirated goods total $1.7 trillion per year, which is more than drugs and human trafficking.”, stated Forbes in 2018. This was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The score has drastically increased since then.

In the music industry alone, brand piracy costs $4.6 Billion in revenue losses. This means that out of every 10 sold CDs, 7 of them are pirated.

The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) Industry loses around ₹22,000 crores of revenue and 60,000 jobs each year to digital piracy.

Brand piracy happens at an alarming scale globally.

What is Brand Piracy?

Brand Piracy is the practice of copying or imitating the name or logo of another well-known brand or product. It is illegal since it violates the Intellectual Property Rights of the rightsholder. The more successful a brand, product, or service is, the more likely it is to be a victim of brand piracy.

Types of Brand Piracy:

Generally, brand piracy falls into three categories: Counterfeiting, Outright Piracy, and Reverse Engineering.

Counterfeiting occurs when the quality of a product is altered but the trademark is identical to the original product. This is the worst type of brand piracy.

Outright Piracy is when a product is in the same form and uses an identical but forged trademark.

Reverse Engineering is when the original product is copied and sold at very low prices under the original brand name. It is quite common in the electronics industry.

Consequences of Brand Piracy

Consequences of Brand Piracy:

Brand piracy negatively impacts the profitability and reliability of businesses and their products/services.

  • Loss of Sales: Brands suffer a huge loss of sales and revenue in billions of dollars.
  • Reputation at Risk: Besides monetary loss, it also causes reputational damage to the products and services – hence, the company.
  • Lack of Trustworthiness: They face a loss of trust between business partners, stakeholders, and consumers alike.
  • Diverted Focus: Dealing with the consequences of counterfeiters make brands shift their focus from improving products and services. Hence, creativity and technology pay the price.

Protecting Your Brand Against Brand Piracy:

Claim ownership of the products and services designed by your company.

Register your brands, designs, products and patents with associated intellectual properties under Copyright or Patent or Trademark. Note that they must be registered in each country where your company has its footprint.

Monitor the Online Space for Infringements

Monitor the digital space using social listening tools to detect any instances of brand abuse or infringement.

Protect your brand right on social media and eCommerce sites

Social media and eCommerce sites have clearly-articulated regulations on defending the rights of copyright owners. Proactively, connect with these sites and platforms to bring down any violations.

Protect your brand right on social media and eCommerce sites

Use Legal Help

Use the law of the land and legislation to enforce your brand, patent, and copyright.  Hire a competent legal team to help you maintain the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand in the online space.

Preventing brand piracy takes time, effort, and a special set of capabilities both technical and legal; especially when you do not know your adversary. That is why you should consider taking help from an organization that is competent at tracking everything down and enforcing brand rights.

India’s First Online Antipiracy Company could be Your Best Bet

We at AiPlex are not only pioneers in providing anti-piracy solutions to the Content creation network (Film Production Houses, OTT Platforms, Broadcasters, E-Learning & Software companies) in India but have also stood the test of time by protecting the brand reputation of some of the top Edtech, Crypto, Fintech, eCommerce, and Hospitality brands in India for more than a decade. We understand the piracy ecosystem and can disrupt it like no other – thanks to our innovative techno-legal approach.

Our tie-up with payment gateways, our legal expertise, connection with ISPs, and coordination with enforcement agencies ensure that you focus on building your business and while AiPlex protects your brand reputation in the online space.  Drop us a line to know more.

Indian Govt. Restricts Pirate Sites in India

Indian Govt. Restricts Pirate Sites in India

India is the 3rd Highest Consumer of Pirated Content in The World

You know India recorded 6.5 billion visits to piracy websites in 2021 – the 3rd highest in the world after U.S and Russia.

Ever wondered the reason for such a rise?

It is easy to find pirated content.

“Watch Batman 2022 on 123movies online for free”

“1movies, the best and easiest way to watch Gangubai Kathiawadi online for free. You can also watch it on Netflix, but you need to wait until it’s released

“Morbius Movie Download Free in HD Quality”

“Watch Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom which is released only in specific countries for free on HD Online now!”

“Watch Gehraiyaan on Amazon Prime Video. Start your 30-day free trial today and avail an annual subscription package for Rs. 1499”

Given that people receive such results on Google when they search for their favourite movies, it’s no wonder that pirated content skyrocketed in 2021. And in the case of the 5th example, people would rather prefer free-content to subscription-based OTT platforms.

Given that people receive such results on Google when they search for their favourite movies, it’s no wonder that pirated content skyrocketed in 2021. And in the case of the 5th example, people would rather prefer free-content to subscription-based OTT platforms.

How Piracy is Affecting Revenues  of OTT Platforms?

Karan Bedi, CEO of MX Player said that they suffered a loss of 15-20 million in their ad revenue as people watched MX content via illegitimate means regularly. Ashram, one of their popular shows would have gained 20% more viewership if watched legally.

Shailesh Kapoor, CEO of Ormax Media said that according to estimates 23 million people in India had watched at least one episode of Scam 1992 on SonyLIV but the platform accounted for only 2 million subscribers. So where did the remaining 21 million viewers come from? Even If they assumed that many watched with their family on the same subscription, it still doesn’t explain the remaining 16 million viewers.

How Piracy is Affecting Revenues  of OTT Platforms

India’s National E-Commerce Policies Against Piracy

The above data points and facts nudged copyright owners and policy makers to consider and introduce stringent antipiracy measures.

Before this policy came into force, several pirate sites were blocked as per court orders, but there wasn’t any formal legislation  or policy to bring down or block torrents, streaming sites, and other websites that allowed access to pirated content.

National e-commerce policies to curtail piracy are adapted from those that are already operational in other regions of the world. Let’s check out the national e-commerce policies against digital piracy in detail:

  • Internet service providers like Airtel Xstream Fiber, BSNL, Reliance JioFiber, etc., are required to introduce measures to stop the circulation of pirated content online. But these measures are yet to be detailed.
  • ‘Trusted entities’ like movie companies should be prioritized by ISPs when it comes to resolving copyright complaints. The identification of trusted entities and anti-piracy measures will happen on a voluntary basis.
  • If ISP providers are notified of infringing websites by copyright holders, they should immediately remove or disable access to the alleged content. This measure is loosely adapted from the takedown provisions of the DMCA.
  • A body of stakeholders will be created who will identify rogue websites that host pirated content and include them in the “Infringing Websites List’ upon verification, which will lead to the following:
A body of stakeholders will be created who will identify rogue websites that host pirated content and include them in the “Infringing Websites List’ upon verification, which will lead to the following
  1. ISPs will remove or disable access to the websites that belong to the IWL. In the UK, this policy requires a high court order even if the website is already present in IWL.
  2. Since rogue websites earn their revenue through online payments derived from subscription or advertisement revenue models; these will now be routed through payment gateways that do not permit to and fro payments from such websites.
  3. Search engines are required to remove websites listed in IWL from their search results. There’s no clarity on how this measure will be carried out as it may require foreign companies to comply as well.
  4. Advertisers and advertising agencies shouldn’t advertise on websites that belong to IWL.

What are your thoughts on the proposed legislation?

Are they effective enough? Do you think that foreign companies will comply with it if necessary? Let us know in the comments below.

Deal with “Hydra Headed Rogue Websites” Legally

Deal with “Hydra Headed Rogue Websites” Legally


Digital piracy remains the biggest threat to content creators. While content creators and production houses put in a great deal of effort and money to create good content and obviously look forward to monetize their movies, TV shows, etc., the pirates share copyrighted content at will. Rogue websites are one of the most successful ways in which the pirates try to hoodwink antipiracy companies and law enforcement agencies.   These new techniques by pirates can only be dealt with futuristic and very stringent technical and legal measures by way of legislation, courts, law-enforcement agencies and antipiracy companies.

Rogue Websites-What are They?

Also known as, Hydra Headed Rogue Websites. The registration and ownership details of these websites are always masked. The ad network usually is anonymous.

Why Such Websites are Referred to as ‘Hydra’

The Lernean Hydra in Greek mythology, who is the offspring of Typhon and Echidna, is a giant water snake-like monster that has nine heads, one of which was immortal.  Anyone who attempted to behead the Hydra would soon find that when one head was cut off, two more heads would appear from the fresh wound. Rogue websites operate the same way.  When enforcement agencies, courts, or antipiracy companies bring down such websites, a multitude of them spring up and continue sharing infringed content.

Why Such Websites are Referred to as ‘Hydra’

How to Identify Rogue Websites?

Here’s a list of what you can look out for when checking for rogue websites:

  • The primary purpose of the website would be to commit infringement and facilitate infringement
  • The registration and details would be masked
  • There will be a lack of action by the website on receiving takedown notices or warnings by the copyright owner
  • The owner will generally show forms of disregard for copyright
  • Check if there is any existing court order that has disabled access to such websites
  • Verify traffic frequency to access similar websites
How to Identify Rogue Websites

Blocking rogue websites is one of the most effective ways to curb piracy.

How to Block Such Rogue Websites?

The Indian courts have realized such rogue websites have to dealt with “out of the box” legislation. Accordingly, John Doe Order aka Ashok Kumar order has been introduced as a new and strong force of fairness. This is a preemptive order that can be obtained against internet service providers, different cable operators, and the illegal and unlicensed distributors of different forms of content; and has proven to be very effective against hydra headed rogue sites.

John Doe Order aka Ashok Kumar order-A Few Details

Ashok Kumar Order or John Doe Order is an injunction provided by the courts when an anonymous person violates the IP rights of the IP rights owner and cannot be discerned at the time of filing the suit. It protects the IP rights owner by enabling them to serve notice and take stern legal actions against the infringers. The plaintiff or the IP rights holder has the legal right to search the premises and capture evidence of an infringement. If the person understands that there is the likelihood that his work is being pirated or infringed by an unidentifiable person, he is entitled to the proposition of the court for issuance of John Doe order. They are awarded ex-parte since the defendant is unidentifiable and the time is crucial.


It is heartening to see that Indian courts have risen to the occasion and have come out with such legislations to support the content creation industry.  An industry or ecosystem of actors, directors, artists, musicians, craftsmen, writers, transporters, caterers, productions houses, etc. can only flourish and remain viable if we are able to adequately control and defeat digital piracy.   For a comprehensive antipiracy solution that also includes procuring the John Doe order and blocking rogue websites, please drop us a line

Impact Of Piracy on the Music Industry

Impact Of Piracy on the Music Industry

For many decades – especially in the 1980s, music was stored and distributed in the form of vinyl records until cassettes and CD sales took over in 1988 and 1991 respectively. Back then music production was done manually; But, the advent of the internet gave rise to new distribution channels and reduced the cost and time with regards to production. While distributing music in traditional modes slowly became outdated, content was now easily accessible to everyone through their smart devices with an active internet connection. However, all this convenience came at a cost; rampant piracy. Unauthorised copies are either bootlegged for below-market prices or traded without payment.

Jubin Nautiyal, who became famous for The Humma Song from Ok Jaanu and Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata from Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan was devastated when his new single, Haaye Dil got leaked online a few days before its release. He said that while he was getting ready to perform at the concert, someone started playing it from the adjacent building. He said he was depressed and even filed a complaint.

When Madonna’s 2015 album Rebel Heart got leaked online, she told the New York Times” I felt raped, there are no words to describe how devastated I was.” When Jai Paul’s debut album was leaked online, he disappeared from the public for six years because he was feeling distressed, suffered from a breakdown and withdrew from life.

According to an article published on Jun 04, 2020, in The Economic Times, it was estimated by the 2019 International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) that the music industry loses about Rs. 1,000 crore a year due to piracy. Out of which, Indian Music Industry (IMI) makes up for 67% and average global piracy constitutes 27%.

All that a pirate needs is just one copy, that’s either acquired legally or illegally, to make thousands of copies and sell it online for a less price. They don’t mind facing legal charges and they’re even finding new ways to get around media locks. In fact, consumers prefer downloading music from third-party websites since it’s available for free as compared to purchasing from streaming platforms like Spotify or iTunes.

Another medium of piracy is P2P network/file-sharing networks; since file-sharing can be done directly among individuals there is a need for few servers or none at all. Many music file-sharing services like Napster emerged with features like a search index for available content. Through the provision of incentives, they even encouraged users to share their files. Well, Napster was later sued and shut down for illegally distributing copyrighted material. WhatsApp groups and Telegram is also an attractive source for Indian content.

Music piracy creates a hefty loss especially for struggling artists and producers trying to make a career, it affects their livelihood; hence Indian copyright laws must be upgraded further to curb digital piracy. Here are some other ways to deal with piracy:

Remove Incentives: Offering good products at a fair price can stop the consumers from looking for pirated content. Other features like good quality content with zero buffering and listening to music offline can also help reduce piracy.

PR and Education: Consumers who download unauthorised content might not always be aware that it’s illegal and that it’s a crime. Therefore, necessary steps need to be taken to educate them about the copyright laws, rules and consequences of piracy.

Technology: You can’t fight against piracy unless you know where the infringement actually took place. But, with technological interference at the pre-transmission stage, it is possible to monitor and tackle piracy.

While we can’t completely stop piracy, it is possible to control piracy  to a very large extent and plug revenue losses in the music industry. AiPlex is India’s first antipiracy company with decades of validated experience. In its fight against piracy in all its forms, it has helped take down infringed content across various platforms, delete millions of infringing URLs, detect fake websites and is a trusted content protection partner for over 200+ content owners. Drop us a line to know more.

Piracy Laws for ‘Cam’ Pirates in India

Piracy Laws for ‘Cam’ Pirates in India

Have you been selling movies you recorded on your camera? or are you uploading them on the internet for free? If you are, then it’s imperative that you read further…

With over 1000 movies produced every year; India has a thriving film industry. It’s also one of the largest markets in the world for movies, which also makes it the biggest market for pirated content. Major titles get pirated and distributed in the black market as soon as it’s released either for free or for as low as a dollar or ₹ 74. This not only results in loss of revenue for many producers but also makes piracy lucrative.

Camcording Piracy

India’s Managing Director of Motion Picture Distributors’ Association, Uday Singh quoted that, “Content theft or piracy in the film industry originates from ‘camcording’ in cinema halls. The Indian film industry loses around Rs 18,000 crore ($2.7 billion) and over 60,000 jobs every year because of piracy.”

The major cause for pirating movies is its ease in availability which is within a few hours from its release. According to the estimates, about 90% of pirated releases can be traced back to camcorders or smartphone recordings.

Piracy Law

Towards preventing unauthorized recording, copying, and distribution of pirated content, the Indian government put forward a proposal to amend the Cinematograph Act and protect the local film industry.

On February 6, 2019,  Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson for the Government of India announced that the amendments to the 1952 Cinematograph Act have been passed by the Union Cabinet.

Stiff Sentence and a Huge Fine

As per the amendments, no person is authorized to use audio or video recording devices to record or distribute a movie without the written and explicit permission of copyright holders. The proposed punishment included a 3 years jail term and/or a fine of up to $14,000/Rs. 10,00,000.   This rather severe punishment is expected to act as a deterrent to pirates and would-be pirates.

Will it Completely Eradicate Piracy?

While the Media & Entertainment industry has received this news with great enthusiasm hoping it will curtail piracy, popular torrent sites like TamilRockers seem unperturbed and continue business as usual. While this law is a welcome move and might deter pirates, it’s unlikely that it will completely put an end to piracy.  A concerted effort by antipiracy companies, media companies, enforcement agencies, internet companies, and implementation of strict statutory laws is the need of the hour.

What are your thoughts on the proposed law? Is it going to be effective in controlling piracy in India? Let us know in the comments below.