This has been a busy week in the world of Netflix, especially because of the theft of the upcoming season five of the TV show “Orange is the New Black”.
Netflix was hacked several days ago, and the hackers managed to get away with an entire season of the popular show. After the theft, the hacker group contacted Netflix and demanded a ransom, otherwise, they will release the season online. Netflix refused, and now the entire season five of Orange is the New Black can be found on torrent sites across the internet.
Even though this must be really upsetting for the Orange is the New Black team, many have stopped to think about the online piracy and how unappealing it has become, mostly since the companies like Netflix started offering better alternatives.
Piracy is a problem for a long time now, even in the world of gaming. However, games today are far less pirated than they used to be, and this is thanks to Valve’s Gabe Newell, the creator of Steam. Steam has made games so cheap and easy to access to, that piracy started to actually look like a worse option.
The fact remains that piracy will never be killed by force and attempts to destroy it in a way that SOPA and PIPA tried a couple of years back. Instead, the only way to actually harm it is to make it unnecessary.
Piracy is never going to go away completely, and it certainly won’t destroy the media industries, but dealing with it the right way could actually make it small and harmless to everyone. All that needs to happen is for the media industry that feels threatened to provide a better alternative.
Those who would deal with piracy now would have to endure 720p quality episodes that have both color and audio-related issues, download it via the torrent client filled with viruses, risk getting in trouble with the ISP if they catch you downloading something with this much publicity, and at the end of all that, only get 10 of 13 episodes. You could go through all that trouble, or you could just wait a couple more weeks and have Netflix offer you full season at once, completely fixed and functional in an amazing quality and free of any risk.
All of that for $8-12 per month.
Whether you’re a Netflix subscriber that respects the air date, or you’re a hardcore fan of the series that respects the actors and the crew, you’ll probably be better off just waiting a little while longer until the better quality episodes are posted, and then legally watch them.
On the other hand, veteran pirates that know how to bypass ISPs and download this kind of stuff early probably pirates everything, so there’s no real loss for Netflix since veteran pirates have never been their subscribers, which shows that this isn’t damaging Netflix at all.
Netflix is complaining about piracy without ever releasing data about how piracy damaged it. Of course, this is impossible to calculate. On the other hand, they’ve created a cheap service with an amazing quality, available for only a couple of bucks per month, which is the real way of fighting piracy and making it unnecessary. Even though the true, devoted pirates probably aren’t going to stop with piracy, Netflix is gaining more and more subscribers, because it’s simply easier that way.