The advent of the internet and its accompanying technologies has seen the explosion of many digital brands with fascinating digital assets. However, it has also brought the highest rate of digital piracy ever witnessed. Reports have it that the amount being lost yearly to digital piracy is in the billions. For instance, the Online TV Piracy Forecast predicts that streaming services would have lost about $52 billion to piracy by next year.
More and more people are now searching the internet daily, looking for other people’s assets to hijack and call their own. This has resulted in significant harm and threat to consumers, the unprecedented decline in sales and revenue, stolen identity, and the destruction of brands and their reputation.
Luckily, this is not the end of the matter, as there are ways to keep these online pirates from what is rightfully yours. We will now discuss what digital piracy is, why it is important for companies to protect their content and how this piracy can be prevented.
Why Companies Should Protect Their Content
When companies fail to protect their digital content, it can often lead to several unpleasant consequences, and below are some of the most common reasons why content protection is very important:
- To Safeguard Brand Reputation
Because nothing ruins the reputation and good image of a brand faster than having just anyone copy and pirate their content. These content and assets usually take years to develop and design and can cost a lot of money, but losing it can occur through just a push of a button and in the twinkle of an eye.
And once they are lost, cybercriminals and pirates can easily use them to rob unsuspecting customers or produce fake products, and all of these often lead to severe damage to the brand’s reputation.
- To Protect Customers
Protecting brand content is an effective way also to protect your customers. This is because, since your customers already trust you, they may easily fall for an email posing to be you or buy a product that looks like it was manufactured by you. This often ends up hurting your customers and putting them in grave danger.
- For Market Segmentation
Sometimes, content must be protected to display it to an only specific population. This is more common with online TV and streaming services for sports and movies, as protecting their content by blocking certain regions is the best way to make the most profit.
Types of Content That Can Be Pirated
There is so much content that can be easily pirated, and below are some of the most common:
- Prints and Press
Content such as e-books, comic strips, and magazines are now very easy to pirate, with pirates making exact copies of the author’s work in no time.
- Entertainment Content
Content such as movies, music, and sporting events are being pirated at an alarming rate, and a surge in piracy has been seen since the advent of COVID-19.
- Software Content
Software content such as applications and video games can also be easily pirated. Software piracy can occur through internet piracy, end-user piracy, hard disk loading, and overuse of servers.
- Streaming Content
Movie streaming platforms such as Netflix, music streaming platforms such as Amazon, and new streaming platforms like Fox are regularly under pirate attack.
- E-learning Content
Online courses are not also spared from this evil. More and more pirates are now attacking e-learning platforms to copy their content and sell at a cheaper rate or in a different market.
Ways to Prevent Piracy
It has been discovered that the war against piracy is best made proactively and offensively. That is to say, it is better to prevent piracy from ever happening than trying to fight pirates after they must have successfully stolen your content.
This is because some content theft may occur on the internet that you usually do not frequent, and hence you may not know about it until they have wrecked irrecoverable havoc on your brand reputation.
And even when it happens in a part where you can have early information, fighting it requires legal suits and court cases that will cost your brand both money and valuable time. It can become a huge distraction that can cause your business to suffer or even collapse completely.
It is therefore advisable to do whatever you can to stop piracy of your content from ever occurring, and below are some of the most effective ways:
- Register your digital content early enough and always display your ownership of the copyright for all to see.
- Regularly monitor your digital content and report any infringement as soon as you notice it. You can use SERPMaster’s anti-piracy solution (view website to learn more): the tool automatically gathers Google SERP data so you can detect where pirated content is distributed.
- If the pirates persist, quickly send a DMCA takedown request to any platform hosting the pirated content.
- Hire the services of a professional anti-piracy agency to handle current piracy issues and prevent future piracy from happening.
Online piracy has become a major problem for digital brands, and they need to be prevented both for the safety of the brand and its customers.
Preventing it is very important, and a brand may choose to do it themselves or seek the help of expert anti-piracy agencies.