Mark Mulready, Vice President of Cyber Services at anti-piracy technology specialist Irdeto, has criticised the emergence of an app on Popcorn Time, the platform that provides a free ’alternative’ to subscription-based video streaming services, offering free, family entertainment during the lockdown.
“Piracy sites across the globe are profiting from the backlog of content being made available by legitimate streaming providers, stealing and adding the content to their own libraries,” he notes. “We have even seen examples of piracy sites offering their subscribers discounts, advertising deals such as ‘Covid-19 Specials’ and ‘Self Isolation Offers’. It is these illegitimate sites which are causing far more harm to the legitimate industry, and indirectly our already suffering economies, while continuing to consume significant and unregulated volumes of Internet capacity.”
“Now is the time for the European Commission to consider introducing simplified procedures for effective and efficient blocking and removal of pirated content from the Internet. This will not only significantly assist in managing congestion but will also reduce the risks to self-isolated end-users who are searching for pirated content during the pandemic,” he suggests.
“Pirate websites and apps are often unsafe and carry dangerous malware and other unwanted traps that can damage your device,” he warns. “Furthermore, hackers can also use pirate websites and apps as a gateway into your home network, where they will attempt to steal everything from personal data to financial details. The last thing any of us want to be worrying about is a computer virus when there’s a very real virus out there to contend with, so I’d encourage everyone to think carefully about the types of content they access online.”