There is only one beneficiary to content theft – criminality. Almost every content theftwebsite is owned and operated for profit and these profits are predominately generated by advertising. This advertising revenue provides the commercial incentive for criminal syndicates to keep such illicit websites going. They are not concerned about protecting the freedom of the Internet or freedom of speech, nor are they in the business to promote innovation. It’s all about the money.
The damage that content theft sites do to the creative industries is without dispute and ADA would encourage every consumer to stay away from such websites. Those consumers who avoid paying for commercial content (when payment is required) by accessing content theft sites to download or stream music, e-books, games, films or TV shows, may actually end up getting ‘something for nothing’…and that something has a cost. Internet users are much more likely to be unwittingly infected by malware when visiting content theft sites compared to non-piracy sites.
The content theft ecosystem, with its click-happy user-base, plays an integral role in the dissemination of malware in the guise of malvertising, ransomware or RAT spyware. The
Asia Digital Alliance (ADA) recognize that it is important for industry and government to make Internet users aware of such risks thus allowing the less experienced members of the digital community to make informed decisions and safeguard themselves from the dark underbelly of the Internet.
Those Internet users, who previously thought that illegal downloading of content was a nebulous and victimless pastime may want to think again.