Most have their own specialties and target markets, with some even claiming to be 99% or 100% effective in one area or another. The reality is that no sane person invests time and money into a company with a mission to ensure its own demise.
Anti-piracy services are effectively the weedkiller and deodorant of the internet – they may leave everything tidy and fresh today but there’s always a new and sometimes smelly infestation tomorrow. The battle never ends.
These days anti-piracy enforcement is an integral part of entertainment companies’ business strategies. In the same way that Hollywood hires the best accountants to ensure that as little tax is paid as legally possible, suppressing the availability of pirated content is considered essential in the quest to make as much profit as possible. To that end, filmmakers, record labels, TV companies, and cinema chains need to hire more and more people to make that happen.
In the UK there are currently more job vacancies than there are unemployed people so this week we trawled through recruitment sites looking for interesting positions. We expected one or two in the anti-piracy market but, to our surprise, we found many – including some we didn’t ever expect to see mentioned in public.
Movies and Music
Given the size of its operation, it wasn’t really a surprise to see Disney advertising a role described as ‘Analyst, Digital Media Antipiracy’.
“This position will be part of a team that is responsible for providing antipiracy services with a focus on combating online piracy of film, television, and live events related to Disney properties worldwide, working closely with industry associations, outside counsel, and Disney business and legal teams.
“Duties of this position include supporting antipiracy enforcement efforts, researching piracy technologies, websites, and apps, tracking piracy data, providing regular reports on piracy trends, evaluating prospective providers of antipiracy services and managing existing providers,” the listing reads.
Disney is looking for someone with a working knowledge of the DMCA, a degree in business or computer science, and a “solid understanding of the online piracy site landscape” including live streaming sites – both pirated and legitimate.
Disney doesn’t publicly commit to a salary for this 12-month fixed-term contract so if music is more your thing, Universal Music Group is also looking for a new recruit.
Responsible to the company’s VP of Global Content Protection, the position of ‘Content Protection Representative’ is one that the successful candidate will be able to do from home. Supporting UMG’s global content protection strategies and assisting in the enforcement of UMG’s copyrights worldwide, the successful candidate will be familiar with anti-piracy and copyright issues and will speak a second language.
Knowledge of Blockchain, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Metaverse technologies is desirable for five days each week, running from Wednesday until Sunday. Like Disney, UMG prefers not to mention a salary for this position.
Site-Blocking Gurus Needed
The position of ‘Anti-Piracy Analyst’ is being offered by brand protection/anti-piracy company Corsearch. The successful candidate will have previous anti-piracy experience, a good understanding of the piracy landscape (including BitTorrent and streaming), and excellent ‘web scraping’ skills.
“Collect, collate, research, and analyse data from a diverse range of sources, including internal systems to produce accurate, timely and complete records to facilitate the ongoing effectiveness of site blocking actions around the world,” the listing reads.
Once again the available salary isn’t mentioned but considering the importance of site-blocking to entertainment companies, we presume this Cardiff-based position is paid with that in mind. Then, much like London buses, when one site-blocking job comes along, suddenly there’s another.
Fancy Some Pirate IPTV Blocking?
Friend MTS, the anti-piracy company working with the Premier League to identify pirate IPTV streams so they can be blocked by ISPs, needs additions to its team. The position of ‘Senior C++ Algorithm Engineer – Content Identification’ suggests that the candidate will have to program a computer and be very, very good at adding up.
“We are seeking an experienced and enthusiastic Software Engineer to join our expanding Content Identification and Watermarking team working on automatic content recognition and covert video watermarking technologies in a distributed, real-time anti-piracy system in use by many major global media companies from satellite / cable broadcasters to sports rights owners and movie studios,” Friend MTS explains.
“The position requires individuals with commercial experience in C++, with a good understanding of how to tackle complex and mathematically challenging problems in software engineering.”
Friend MTS prefer not to give an indication of salary but in recent weeks the company has advertised several other positions, so there might be more than one opportunity. The company has an office in the center of Birmingham close to several trendy bars – ideal for quenching thirsts after Premier League blocking ends on Saturday. And on Sunday. And in the middle of the week.
MUSO Needs an Anti-Piracy Chief
Anti-piracy company MUSO is regularly in the press with piracy reports and analysis and late last month began the process to recruit a new ‘Head of Content Protection’. Candidates will need a strong understanding and experience of the anti-piracy industry for digital content.
“This varied role will be responsible for line management of the content protection team, project delivery, customer interaction, and process development,” the ad reads.
MUSO is offering a salary of up to £55,000 a year and the successful candidate will be able to work from home while testing out the company’s four-day working week trial.
This forward-looking work schedule is also available to a new ‘Data Analyst‘ who, for a maximum of £40,000 a year, will help media rights owners, broadcasters and VOD platforms “understand global demand for film and TV titles, unearthing emerging trends and hit titles previously flying under the radar.”
Fighting Movie Camming on the Front Lines
Finally, there are positions available at Cineworld, the second-largest cinema business in the world. Both require employees to monitor customers to ensure they’re not pirating the latest blockbusters. If any cammers are discovered they will need to be handled in line with Cineworld’s anti-piracy policy. When necessary, “appropriate action” should be taken.
When not on the front lines tackling piracy, candidates will be required to monitor picture quality, sound quality, and screen temperature. Eyes must also be alert to any customer disturbances but should they complain, patrons must be handled politely.
In addition to being passionate, resourceful, and confident in communications, the successful candidate will be required to promote membership schemes to customers – when not working behind the bar or dealing with food in the kitchen, of course. An ability to work under pressure is an understandable requirement – the job also requires the daily cleaning of toilets, back and front of house areas, screens, and cinema seating.
Given that one of these positions is in Epsom, Surrey, where renting a one-bedroom flat costs at least £250 per week, the successful candidate could be left with just £20 a day on which to survive, barely covering food and utility bills in today’s environment. This may go at least some way to explaining why the UK has so many job vacancies right now.
That being said, Cineworld is billions in debt, so things could be worse.