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MPAA: 6% of North American Households Have Piracy Software

4 Oct, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Piracy of movies and TV shows is moving away from disc to digital. About 6% of North American households have a device with open-source Kodi software to access pirated content, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Although Kodi software is not unlawful on its own, and does not host or link to unlicensed content, it can be easily configured to direct consumers toward pirated films and TV shows.

The illegally altered software taps into an ecosystem of infringing content add-ons and portals to illicitly stream movies and TV programming live or on-demand. There are more than 750 websites offering infringing devices or software, according to the MPAA.

The trade group said content thieves take advantage of myriad easy-to-use online technologies, such as direct download and streaming, to create infringing sites and applications, often with the look and feel of legitimate content distributors, luring unsuspecting consumers into piracy.

“Online content theft undermines the economic success of film and television, threatens the livelihoods of millions of creators, and harms consumers by spreading viruses and malware. In particular, streaming device piracy — enabled by preloaded piracy devices and unauthorized add-ons — poses a significant and evolving challenge,” Charles Rivkin, CEO of the MPAA, said in a submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Indeed, malicious software is increasingly a revenue source for pirate sites and apps. A 2015 study by the Digital Citizens Alliance found that consumers’ computers are 28 times more likely to be infected by malware from a content theft site than similar mainstream sites.

Another DCA study found that one-third of the 589 infringing websites studied included links with the potential to infect users’ computers with viruses and other malware.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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