In addition to the rapidly growing popularity of downloading ‘pirated’ films for free over the Internet Film companies now have to deal with subscription sites that utilize ‘cyberlockers’. Cyber-lockers are characterized on Yahoo News as being run by foreign, often mob-run, businesses that aggregate illegally obtained movies into internet storage sites. These for-profit storage sites are spawning an array of sophisticated and reputable-looking ‘cyberlockers’ and usually enable users to download an unlimited amount of digital movie files for a flat rate (usually as little as $5 a month).
In addition or in replace subscription fees, cyberlocker sites also make advertising off of (hopefully) unwitting mainstream advertisers such as KFC and Netflix. These advertisers typically are notified by the film companies that they are advertising on a site used to facilitate the illegal download of copyrighted material and then the ads are usually taken down. But the process keeps continuing, with ‘cyberlocker’ sites becoming more and more lucrative and prevalent on the Internet.
Cinema Exhibitors Assn. chief Phil Clapp noted that in the UK, “we are hamstrung by the fact that we have very weak legislation," However, in April U.K. adopted the Digital Economy Act. This Act mandates a graduated response system to cases of cyber-theft.
Using the UK’s graduated response system, consumers who are caught downloading pirated material receive an e-mail alert followed by formal letters, and repeat offenders can lose Internet access for a period of time.
At a recent Cinema Expo, chief operating officer of Paramount Pictures, Fred Huntsberry said that "cyberlockers now represent the preferred method by which consumers are enjoying pirated content.” He went on to note that “sometimes these sites look better than the legitimate sites… that's the irony."
To combat this new form of Internet piracy on a large scale, the motion picture industry is fighting for stricter video piracy regulations and enforcement on country-by-country campaigns.
With rapid increases in the prevalence of consumers around the world streaming pirated digital video into their homes via computer screen or even directly onto living room TVs it is important to keep in mind that such convenience carries with it serious risks. Consumers are now being sued directly by the film industry, credit card information is sometimes pirated, and problems with spyware contamination are increasingly frequent. If you receive a threat letter alleging copyright abuse, or would like to assert your copyright rights, you should contact an Internet lawyer today.
More information on this story and copyright infringement can be found here;