Amid the rise of legal streaming websites, online piracy is still a very big business. Even with the relentless efforts of copyright enforcers, the problem seems to stay. One reason is because top brands support the content theft sites through advertising.
Content theft websites earn millions of dollars per year in advertising revenue. These earnings are generated from the number of views and clicks that they get.
What could content theft websites initiate?
- pop-up warnings when you click anywhere on the page
- warning of the need to update the user’s browser or plugins
What happens when you click the page?
It creates a back door for other software to be installed which could potentially launch service attacks. Also, it could gather the user’s personal data. Some of these computer programs can destroy your files.
A non-profit internet safety group Digital Citizens Alliance commissioned a new research and it shows that in 2014, an estimated $209 million was spent on advertising placed on sites that promote content theft.
- Major advertisers, inadvertently or otherwise, support ad-supported content theft. Sample ads come from well-known companies including Verizon, Sprint, Lexus, PayPal, Banana Republic, Zappos, Adobe, Amazon and others.
- Around a third content theft sites that were examined had the potential to infect users’ computers with viruses. This means, users’ security is at risk and the malware could generate fake website visits. So, they don’t just destroy the users’ computer, they also defraud advertisers.
- The evolution of online piracy sites involves streaming content instead of downloading it. This is good news for content theft site operators as ad prices got higher and right now, these ads are placed on videos instead of banners or other formats.
People should realize that online piracy can sustain itself and even cause harm to users through malware. Awareness of the risks is a good start and the internet is a good place to get the information you need. So, do your research to understand the effects of online piracy.