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Updated March 19th, 2024 at 19:59 IST

Piracy sites in India ahead of adult sites, gambling ads in malware risk: Study

Online piracy in India continues to remain profitable, with malware distribution becoming a supplementary revenue stream for piracy site operators.

Reported by: Business Desk
Film piracy, movies
Film piracy | Image:Pexels

Piracy websites place a higher malware threat to consumers in India, which is more than the risk adult sites and gambling advertisements pose.

In a recent study conducted by the Indian School of Business (ISB), accessing piracy sites poses a greater malware risk at 59 per cent, as against the adult industry at 57 per cent and advertisements on gambling advertisements, according to the study titled The PiracyMalware Nexus in India: A Perceptions and Experience and Empirical Analysis.

Based on a survey as part of the YouGov National Omnibus, responses of 1,037 adults were considered during May 23-29 last year.
 
Digital piracy presents crucial risks to India’s cultural outputs across several entertainment sectors, which points to unauthorised copying, distribution, or sharing of copyrighted content like movies, music, TV shows, books, software, and other forms of creative works, the study stated. 

Piracy affects the revenue streams of India’s entertainment industry, including losses for filmmakers, producers, artists, and other stakeholders. As per EY, the losses amount to $3.08 billion in 2022. 

Online piracy in India continues to remain profitable, with malware distribution becoming a supplementary revenue stream for piracy site operators. 

Scam piracy websites also present a higher risk of exposing users to cyber threats in comparison to standard piracy sites, specially the noted ones, the study emphasised. 

People between the age group of 18-24 showed a higher inclination of visiting piracy websites, and simultaneously lowest levels of cyber risk awareness, according to the study. 

”There is a need for a three-pronged approach to deal with the menace: Regulation, Education and Detection (RED). This should include stringent laws and regulations to punish the culprits; educate masses about the threat of using pirated stu; and use of technology to detect and block these websites,” Professor Manish Gangwar, Executive Director, ISB Institute of Data Science, and co-author of the study said. 

As a recourse, the study suggested for the government to place a greater priority on digital copyright crimes and enforcement, with action against the bigger piracy syndicates.

(With PTI Inputs)

Published March 19th, 2024 at 19:59 IST

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