Since 2001, when Bram Cohen from the University of Buffalo created torrents, the world seemed to enter a new era of online content sharing. People no longer had to download large files from another person’s computer in order to share music, movies, TV series, books and games with each other. These were just a few mouse clicks away. Files’ downloading process has become much easier and largely dependent on the speed of your internet connection.
The Changes That Torrenting Has Brought
These changes quickly attracted the audience. It was not only a convenient way to access wanted content, but also a great opportunity to share it faster. You didn’t have to buy a ticket and go to a cinema in order to watch the new movie. You didn’t have to buy concert tickets in order to hear the songs of your beloved music group. The need to save money in order to buy your favorite computer game also didn’t make sense. You could have everything you want in just a few moments and for free.
Although this method was very popular and beneficial for content users, it was detrimental to its developers. Who will be interested in buying a movie, game, music album or e-book if all of these are available for free? Although it is not possible to generalize situations and depict them in light or dark colors alone, this problem is perfectly revealed by statistics. Research shows that pirated video material is viewed over 230 billion times a year. That is impressive, isn’t it?
If this number does not make a big impression, let’s take a look at the consequences it causes. US digital video piracy alone costs its economy from $ 30-70 billion each year. Such losses result in the loss of more than 70,000 jobs in the music industry. And this directly affects people who do not get these jobs, and their families as well. So, while at first torrenting was initially welcome, it has become unwanted over the time. Governors have begun to take steps to stop the spread of illegal content and the people who distributed it were threatened with fines and other penalties.
What is the Future of Torrenting?
Some people say that torrenting has no future. And we must admit that such a saying is difficult to confirm, and difficult to deny. However, it is worth remembering that the fight against torrenting has been going on for more than a decade and has been unsuccessful so far. While various restrictions in some countries are helping to reduce piracy, the overall situation in the world is changing very slowly. Despite the impending fines, people still use torrents in order to share music, movies, TV series and other information with one another.
In addition, various ways have emerged that allow you to take advantage of torrenting without getting into trouble. For example, you can still be anonymous while torrenting when using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It allows you to use the Internet securely and make sure that neither your IP address nor the activities you perform are visible to your Internet Service Provider or others. How does it work? Using VPN encrypts your data and routes it through secure networks to servers in other countries.
This option also gives you access to websites that are inaccessible from the country where you live. For example, you can watch all the TV series you want on Netflix, play games you like, and more. Also take advantage of various discounts for residents of other countries. They are especially common when buying goods online or plane tickets.
What to Expect In 10 Years?
Some people believe that piracy will have to be forgotten in the near future and paid for every content. Still, it doesn’t seem convincing. All the more so as the problem of piracy and copyright infringement has been a concern for more than a decade, but no suitable solutions have been found. So why assume a solution will be found now?
Of course, no one stands still and is constantly improving. Therefore, the ability to protect online content from piracy may be greatly improved in the future. However, ways to avoid these constraints may improve at the same time. Because there will always be people who would prefer to use content for free rather than pay for it. And this need can be motivated by different reasons.
In addition, it can be assumed that the scale of the piracy problem and the solutions to it may depend on the situation in individual countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, a particularly high level of piracy has been observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be assumed that various situations leading to people spending more time at home may contribute to the increase in the incidence of piracy. These numbers can also be regulated by whether a person has a job and what salary he or she receives in it. If he barely makes ends meet, it will no doubt be relevant to him to get the same content he wants for free than to pay for it.
Will Education Make Major Changes?
Some people claim to see the positive signs that education gives. However, it is difficult to find statistics to support such a statement. It could be that piracy will indeed decrease drastically in the future, and education will make a significant contribution to it. However, this is unlikely to happen in the next ten years. All of this can take at least 20-30 years before we reach a result that we can enjoy.
Finally, even when significant changes will be achieved, piracy will not go away. Piracy would only disappear if all movies, TV series, music, games or books became free. And it is obviously impossible to expect that.
So, until big changes happen, things remain the same. Some people will pay money for online content, while others will be constantly looking for ways to avoid these payments… but at the same time have the opportunity to enjoy the content you like.