And the Oscar for piracy goes to...

And the Oscar for piracy goes to...

Tonight, is one of the biggest events of the year when you’re a movie lover - it’s Academy Awards nights. 

 Theaters have been closed for months due to the pandemic, and the ceremony has already been postponed several times this year.      

 230,000 jobs lost every year

When the show ends, you realize that you haven't seen all the nominated films - Promising Young Woman, The Father or Nomadland... As a cinema fan, you know how much money the movie industry loses to piracy. You were just reading this article earlier, so you know that in the United States alone, online piracy loses $29.2 billion and 230,000 jobs every year. 

 Unfortunately, theaters are still closed or their access is so restricted that it’s almost impossible to schedule a night. In your country there is no legal streaming offer, so you have no choice. If you really want to see the Oscar nominated and awarded movies, you'll have to pirate them...

You spend less time finding an illegal copy than you did searching for a legal offer or an open movie theater. A simple Google search was enough to find your movie. Slightly guilty, a few minutes later, you sit down in front of an excellent quality copy - a far cry from the "camcording" of the early years of piracy - and start watching a pirated movie for the very first time in your life.

 One Oscar Won, Piracy Increases 10 Times

 Piracy at the Academy Awards is not a new phenomenon. But the pandemic and the shutdown of movie theaters have taken it to a whole new level. 

 The site Torrentfreak is interested in the impact of the Oscars on illegal downloads since 2015

 They monitor the activity of nominated films on pirate networks every year. The peak in illegal downloads for a movie participating in the Awards occurs at two specific times

 The graph below compares two nominated films - Nomadland and Judas and the Black Messiah - to a control film that was not nominated for the Oscars, the Honest Thief. 

The downloads are observed between April 19 and April 27- the observation ends two days after the results are announced. According to the graph, Nomadland's downloads increased ten times after its Oscar win.


 Graph by

The French exception

The French case is very specific - there is a very strict timeline between the moment a movie is released in theaters and the moment it can be seen on VOD services or TV. For instance, a regular movie will normally air on Netflix about 17 months after it has been released in theaters. The government changed regulations during the pandemic, but has no plans to permanently reverse it once everything is back to normal.

New movies, thus, are particularly at risk in France when it comes to online piracy. If an Oscar-nominated movie is not available in theaters, the French viewer has only two options - not to see the movie or to watch it illegally. 

If you like movies, why would you steal them?

There are several arguments put forward by users to defend piracy.

 In countries like France or the UK where the movie is not legally available, people simply say they don't want to wait. Social media conversations and online reviews give the impression that everyone has already seen them - they just want to be part of the conversation on social media.


A recent movie from home

 Some people simply prefer to watch their movie in the quiet of their home. they are willing to pay for a legal offer, but if it doesn't exist, they will prefer to illegally download a movie and watch it peacefully on the expensive equipment they own, rather than sharing their experience with other viewers and suffer their popcorn noises and the constant sound of notifications from their phones.

Blockbuster or B-movie ?

Some people only pirate blockbusters. Their excuse? The movie is already making huge profits in the first weekend of its release. They're not stealing from anyone, are they? 

Others, download only B-movies and independent films that are almost impossible to find in their country - they even see it as a way to preserve art that, without them, might never be seen and known in some parts of the world. 

 Camcording and DVD screeners

 There are two methods of making a film that has not yet been released.

 Two groups are known for their ability to get their hands on such copies and distribute them: Hive-CM8 (which has leaked several films in competition for the Oscars) and TOPKEK 

So far, the studios have not found any way to prevent these films from being illegally published. The only thing to do is a 24/7 careful monitoring. The only solution is to do some damage control and delete the first copies as soon as they appear online.

 The sooner an illegal copy is detected and removed, the less likely it will spread.

 If you need help, don’t hesitate to hire a team of experts. We have more than 10 years of experience and have developed efficient tools to protect movies and TV shows.

 Next week, stay tuned for an overview of the most downloaded movies and series.




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