Five Piracy Predictions for 2016

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Today marks the start of a new year which will undoubtedly bring many more innovations and legal troubles related to file-sharing and piracy. We take a look at some recent developments and the stunning consequences they may have in 2016.

2016At the start of the new year the TF news desk often wonders how things can become even more extreme than the year before.

Today we decided to share some of these thoughts with you.

Granted, predicting the future isn’t an easy task, but the predictions below give plenty of food for thought and discussion.

Copyright Holders Will Sue Chrome and Firefox

This is an easy one really. After pursuing legal action against hundreds of thousands of people, many website operators, software developers, and even a large U.S. Internet provider, it’s only a small step to take.

Initially the RIAA and friends considered going after BitTorrent Inc., but web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla’s FireFox pose an even greater threat. In their complaint the righsholders will blame the browsers for granting unrestricted access to millions of copyrighted works, through torrent, streaming, file-hosting and linking sites.

Popcorn Time for Recipes

Popcorn Time sells. We’ve seen Popcorn Time applications for TV and movies, for music and even for porn. Copyright holders and tracking companies also jumped on the bandwagon and used the Popcorn Time brand to sell their schemes.

The Popcorn mania reached unprecedented levels in 2015 and it won’t end in the new year. During the months to come we’ll witness the launch of various new spin-offs including a Popcorn Time for recipes, allowing users to browse an advertising-free library of some of the hottest cooking instructions.

ISPs will disconnect millions of “pirating” subscribers

This is another shoe-in. A few weeks ago Cox Communications lost its lawsuit against music rights group BMG. The Internet provider was held liable for the copyright infringements of its users because it failed to disconnect persistent pirates.

The result is that Cox now has to pay $25 million in damages. However, the lawsuit also raised alarm bells at other major Internet providers, as most large ISPs don’t disconnect repeated infringers either. In 2016 copyright holders will raise the pressure by sending out dozens of millions of infringement notices.

In response, large ISPs will have to disconnect millions of pirating customers.

Initially copyright holders will praise the actions as a clear victory, but they will have second thoughts when they realize that the disconnected subscribers are canceling their Netflix, Spotify, and other legal subscriptions in droves.

The Pirate Bay becomes Invincible

The world’s most notorious torrent site has had quite a few ups and downs over the years, but in 2016 there will be some truly remarkable developments. Initially we thought TPB could be working on a new website design after all these years, but that’s probably too far-fetched.

Instead we predict that the Pirate Bay’s low orbit server drones will finally take off, making the site even more resilient. In addition the TPB team will launch its planned application to decentralize the entire site and database among its users so it can withstand pretty much any raid.

Google Bans everything piratey

In recent years the MPAA, RIAA and others have cyber-bullied Google to extremes. The rightsholders accuse Google of facilitating piracy and believe the company hasn’t done enough to address the situation. The MPAA even went as far as enlisting Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to take Google out.

In 2016 the search giant will throw in the towel. Instead of fighting the mounting pressure it will give the MPAA and friends everything they want, without any form of oversight.

As a result, The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and various other pirate domains will completely disappear from the search index. The same is true for other websites rightsholders frequently send takedown notices for, such as Netflix, IMDb, The Hollywood Reporter, Rotten Tomatoes, Spotify and Pandora.

And remember, take down means stay down.

Happy 2016!



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