Movie torrents and free streams increase as millions risk fines

A large number of people are resorting to illegal downloads and flows to have fun during the ongoing blockade in the UK. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, millions of people are still being encouraged to stay home to work or study. Others remain covered with overtime to fill.

According to intellectual property protection organization FACT, links to illegal streaming sites doubled between February and April. Prime Minister Boris Johnson requested the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues, museums and galleries on March 20, 2020, with further restrictions taking effect the following week.

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Most recently released movie downloads and streams have tripled over the same period, the research shows.

FACT Chief Executive Kieron Sharp said it is no surprise that more people are resorting to illegal methods of obtaining films to watch during the current public health crisis. Millions of people are facing financial difficulties due to the new coronavirus, which makes the fascination with free films and boxing more attractive than ever. However, the film and television industry is also facing enormous difficulties as a result of the blockade.

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Sharp told Express.co.uk: "It is not surprising that there was an increase in demand for content during the blocking period, resulting in the inevitable increase in piracy, demonstrated by the almost triple we saw on streaming links. However, it is It is essential to remember that the only legal way to watch movies is through official providers. If you are accessing content in any way that does not pay the provider, this is not a gray area: it is illegal. Streaming sites.

"Every pirate link we detect denies the rights holder the revenue he is entitled to and also threatens investments in future content. Piracy is the biggest competitor of any rights holder and, with online audiovisual consumption in the new normal, never it was so important to protect the content.

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"We continue to work with the studios to take down illegal streaming links and encourage people to report illegal sources they find to Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111 or filling out their online form. "

And it's not just FACT that has noticed the dramatic increase in the number of people looking to watch movies for free using illegal methods. Piracy tracking company Muso reported that traffic to illegal streaming and download sites increased by almost 60% in March 2020 – then the blockade occurred.

More than 300 million visits to piracy sites in the UK and more than a billion in the US have been recorded by Muso. Oscar winning film Parasite and pandemic thriller 2011 Contagion have been named as some of the most sought after titles by illegal streamers.

The studios were quick to find innovative new ways to present their latest releases to people unable to enter the local multiplex.

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Universal Pictures anticipated the release of several films that were in the cinema when COVID-19 dominated the UK and forced the government to implement social detachment policies, including discouraging people from visiting stores, pubs, restaurants, theaters and non-essential stores . movie theaters. These include Emma, ​​the invisible manand The hunt.

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Universal Pictures launched rentals, which cost $ 15.99 for a 48-hour rental, to several of the most popular digital distributors available, including Amazon Prime Video, Sky Store, Google Play Movies and, of course, Apple iTunes.

And Universal Pictures is not alone. Paramount Pictures made the decision to release a romantic comedy The Lovebirds on Netflix after canceling its theatrical release. It is the first time that a studio takes its movie to a third-party streaming service, such as Netflix, instead of digitally purchasing, renting or its own in-house streaming solution.

Unfortunately, the details of exactly when the film, which starts Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, will be released in countries around the world are still unclear. However, Paramount had scheduled the film for a premiere on April 3, 2020, presumably at some point, depending on how it fits into Netflix's schedule.

In the United States, Pixar released its latest film – Onward – as a digital rental long before planned, as families were told to stay home to "flatten the curve" and reduce the pressure on healthcare professionals amid dissemination of COVID-19. Disney, owner of Pixar, also confirmed plans to anticipate the launch of Onward on its streaming service, Disney +. He already released Frozen II on the platform much earlier than originally planned to help those trapped inside the house.

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