Those who download illegally via torrent files should be aware of the increase in legal activity
A torrent of lawsuits filed against online pirates within the last month has hinted at the true cost of streaming for free in 2018.
More than 1,000 lawsuits were filed against BitTorrent pirates in the United States last year.
However, the sheer volume of lawsuits filed in January 2018 points to a dramatic increase to that number in 2018.
Those figures come courtesy of legal analytic company, Lex Machina.
The analysis from the California-based company reveals there were 1,019 file-sharing cases filed in the United States last year – an average of 85 a month.
More than half of all these were filed by adult entertainment firm, Malibu Media, which accounted for some 550 lawsuits filed against pirates last year.
The dramatic increase in legal activity from Malibu Media, as noted by Lex Machina
While that is far from an insignificant number, it only looks set to increase in the coming months.
According data gathered by piracy-focused blog TorrentFreak, during the first month of 2018, three copyright holders filed a total of 286 lawsuits against alleged pirates.
That’s three times the monthly average for 2017 in January 2018 alone.
Malibu Media is still the largest contributor, with a total of 138 lawsuits to its name.
Strike 3 Holdings, another hugely-successful online pornography firm, is in second place with 133 cases.
Examples of cases filed by pornography company, Malibu Media
According to TorrentFreak, the only non-adult copyright holder that filed cases against alleged BitTorrent pirates was Bodyguard Productions.
The company filed 15 lawsuits against people it believes downloaded copies of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson action-comedy film The Hitman’s Bodyguard for free.
In total, there are a few dozen defendants.
Granted, it is tough to predict a trend from a single month’s data. However, it’s undoubtedly clear companies – including Malibu Media – have filed a higher number of lawsuits in January 2018 than last year.
Those who downloaded copyrighted content for free without permission from the rights holders are breaking the law.
Torrent files are not in and of themselves intrinsically illegally.
However, those used to download copyrighted content for free without the permission of the rights holders are.
Torrents do not contain the file you wish to download, but instead, enables your computer to download the requested data in small chunks from a network of online participants.
Popular torrent websites like Kickass Torrents, ExtraTorrent and Torrentz.eu have all shutdown within the last year.
The Pirate Bay – the most well-known example of a torrent repository – is currently banned in the UK by most Internet Service Providers, or ISPs.
In the UK, those who download copyrighted content using a torrent site might find themselves the recipient of a warning letter from their broadband provider.
Dubbed Get It Right, the anti-piracy sees UK ISPs mail-out warnings to subscribers whose accounts have been used to download copyrighted material.
The email cautions subscribers they have 20 days to stop downloading copyrighted material using peer-to-peer websites.