Copyrights are an integral staple to our economy. Providing the means for innovators and creative minds to capitalize on their successful ideas, it incentivizes individuals and companies to produce more products the society desires. However, while individuals work hard to bring content that society desires, others are working just as hard to subvert the laws of copyrights, providing the means to steal the property of its owners.
According to a recent study by the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA), content theft websites steal approximately a quarter of a billion dollars in ad revenue alone in2013. A primary source of revenue for these sites is through ad revenue, with some of the largest sites making $3 million in ad revenue and the most heavily trafficked site is estimated to make approximately $6million per year. With a profit-margin of 80-94%, content thieves are seeing increasing benefits with little risk when it comes to stealing the work of others.
Putting an end to such abuse and criminal activity is paramount. If not addressed, the illegal industry of content theft will continue to grow and flourish. For example, over two years (2010-2012) the band with devoted to copyright infringing sites increased by 160% according to DCA. The creative community currently loses far more than a quarter of a billion dollars due to loss of high priced content sales. If not rectified immediately by law makers and the internet community, this trend can only be expected to continue as more people gain access to the internet in the coming years.
With technology already available and widely used, internet advertisers must be first to help curb the profits of illicit sites like BitTorrent and P2P sites. Using technology readily employed by many companies today, advertisers can easily identify if a site is a content thieving sites. In doing so, sites will see reduced profits and reduced incentives to continue their illegal activities.
Furthermore, internet users must realize that their actions are crucial as well. By watching content on illicit sites, they are contributing to the theft of content creators and producers. Voluntarily employing such best practices standards are essential if there to be substantial improvements in protecting copyrights. This is the time for everyone, including lawmakers to stand up and protect the creators of content enjoyed by millions, because it is not only effecting creators, it is enabling illegal activity that has pervasive detrimental effects on our economy.