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The Rubicon

Streaming services increase piracy

Martha Sanchez, RubicOnline Editor

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With the ever increasing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, piracy, the unauthorized use of someone else’s work, is on the rise.

Because accessibility to multiple streaming services is expensive, usage of piracy services like BitTorrent are up by 10 percent since 2015. The problem arises when shows become exclusive to streaming services. The show House of Cards, for example, is exclusive to the streaming site Netflix. To watch the show, a user would have to have a Netflix account, which costs them monthly. If a user wants to watch only one show and is already subscribed to other streaming services, it is not in their best cost-interest to subscribe to another streaming service. Users in situations as such often succumb to piracy.

Many streaming service users find piracy to be in their best economic interest. Yet piracy hurts the producers and creators of the content that many have access to only illegally. By stealing content, users who engage in piracy make it harder for those who have created the content they are stealing to make a living. A study done by the Institute for Policy Innovation found that piracy of solely music and sound recordings cost the U.S. economy 12.5 billion dollars, 2 million dollars in wages and resulted in 70,000 lost jobs due to economic struggles.

By illegally downloading music or shows, users damage not only the welfare of those who create it, but hurts creative efforts going forward. With less funding, new shows will often lack the budget to make it on streaming services. Creative directors and writers of these shows will have trouble bringing their ideas into the public eye through their work. By selfishly pirating shows, those who pirate are actually damaging the film industry for the rest of the population.

It is up to us to challenge those who pirate and forge a future where nothing can threaten the creativity that the entertainment industry provides us with through streaming services.”

While numbers show that streaming services increase piracy, with outreach and awareness piracy can be decreased. Groups such as the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, a group of 30 entertainment companies including HBO and Netflix, have dedicated themselves to attacking the challenge of online piracy and creating a legal community of content where the creativity of the industry can thrive.

As high school students, piracy is not unheard of in the Upper School community. It is up to us to challenge those who pirate and forge a future where nothing can threaten the creativity that the entertainment industry provides us with through streaming services.

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About the Writer
Martha Sanchez, News Editor

Martha Sanchez is the News Editor at RubicOnline. She loves writing and this has led her to journalism. This is her second year on staff. In addition to...

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