Illegal downloading and sharing of film and TV content is a major crime. Media piracy has even become fertile new territory for organised crime rings that previously dealt in drugs and prostitution. But the reasons why ordinary people watch pirated programmes are complex – and the effect on a media brand’s content creators may not be so simple.

Lack of availability might be the biggest reason why piracy occurs worldwide, and some experts say that as regional networks start making their content available immediately to a global audience, piracy could decline. Some of those who engage in piracy claim if they could pay to download a programme, they would. And some also buy films and TV series legally, when they are available. Piracy could have the effect of raising awareness of a media franchise in regions where there would otherwise be little awareness. Brook looks at both sides of the issue and finds out how media piracy could be stopped once and for all.

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