For weeks on end, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dominated the news. The disease continues to spread today and is severely disrupting society in some of the most affected areas.
Almost everyone appears to have an opinion on the matter and the latest news is followed closely across the world. However, people’s interest in the topic goes further than news alone. As we reported on Saturday, it has now spread to the entertainment sector as well. In recent weeks movie rentals of Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 movie “Contagion” surged.
On top of the increased legal demand, piracy numbers were up as well. Instead of roughly 200 downloads per day via torrent sites, piracy numbers soon hit the tens of thousands.
Apparently this increase in demand hasn’t gone unnoticed to YTS, the most popular torrent site on the Internet which just recently settled two copyright lawsuits with movie studios. A day after we highlighted the download surge, YTS published two new high-quality copies of the film on the site.
The new uploads are 720p and 1080p BluRay rips, which are also spread by YTS across other torrent sites. While there is no mention of the reason to add the older movie, the connection to the Coronavirus outbreak is obvious.
That link is also quite apparent in the comments that are posted on the torrent site. “Is this what’s gonna happen?” one commenter writes, with another one adding that it’s a “great movie if you want to know about Coronavirus.”
As mentioned before, the events depicted in the movie “Contagion” have very little to do with the challenges facing the world today. Apart from both being related to a virus outbreak, perhaps.
What is striking, however, is that instead of the usual torrent site discussions about the quality of the pirated copy of the movie itself, the talk on YTS is mostly about the Coronavirus itself. Some commenters predict more doom and gloom, while others state that there’s little to worry about.
At TorrentFreak, we know more about copyright law than medical issues, so we will refrain from joining the discussion. That said, we believe that one comment is worth repeating. If only because it’s one of the oddest things we’ve read on a torrent site, yet quite accurate.
“Be smart, wash your hands frequently,” trapsterr writes.
At the time of writing YTS’s new “Contagion” rips are only a few hours old. We don’t have any updated download statistics yet, but it will likely break the daily record for this year soon enough.