Saudi Airlines has been caught showing pirated film during a flight this week, a Blu-Ray rip of Killers to be exact. Whether the airline makes a habit of pirating its in-flight entertainment is unclear, but the “Killers 2010 BDRiP AC3 XViD-ILOVE” reference is a clear indication that showing a pirated copy is sometimes preferred over the material provided by official distributers.
Piracy is the root of all evil, but every now and then it can be surprisingly convenient. Just ask Ubisoft, who are selling a pirate-sourced soundtrack of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood to their customers. Or Belarus’ National State Television, who aired a pirated copy of The Hurt Locker on Oscar night.
In both cases the parties involved had secured the rights to use the material, but out of convenience they chose to use the services of ‘pirates’ instead. However, there are also plenty of cases where pirated copies are used without permission. To sell iMacs or Macbooks for instance.
Another example of these alternative uses of pirated media was spotted by a passenger of Saudi Airlines this week. The picture posted below this article was taken on a flight between Dubai and Riyadh last Monday by Twitter user @Alwagait.
At first everything seems normal, but those who look closely will notice something interesting. On the film’s cover we can read the following text – “Killers 2010 BDRiP AC3 XViD-ILOVE” – which is a direct reference to a pirated copy of the film that can be found on numerous torrent sites.
It is unclear whether any of the other films on board were also being provided from pirated sources.
Although there is little doubt that we’re dealing with a pirated copy of Killers, this doesn’t mean that Saudi Airlines doesn’t have a license to show the film. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to deal with non-DRMed files than the copies that are provided through official channels.
To quote Saudi Airlines’ company slogan: It’s the new era.