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Wave of New Pirating Sites Causes Jump in Bootlegged TV Watching: ‘An Underground Version of TV Guide’

Sep 22, 2010  •  Post A Comment

A wave of new content pirating services is making it easier to tap into bootlegged television shows, reports the Los Angeles Times, which likens the sites to "an underground version of TV Guide."

Because of new sites such as Megavideo and the combination of "cyberlockers" such as Megaupload with linking sites such as TVDuck, the number of infringing sites with streaming jumped 42% from July to August, the story says. While file-sharing remains the top source for watching pirated shows, cyberlockers — a hosting service that stores large files — will surpass peer-to-peer use by 2013, the story says. 

Consumers may watch the sites believing they are tapping into legal content. Sidereel, for example, offers consumers the chance to watch "every show on the Web" and includes ads from Macy’s and even NBC, which has placed ads for its new series "Outlaw" on the program. 

But anti-piracy experts say Sidereel is a linking site that moves viewers to shows that aren’t free, such as pay-TV programs like HBO’s "True Blood," to Megavideo, a cyberlocker, the article says.

However,  according to Chief Executive Roman Arzhintar, according to the article, Sidereel points consumers to content from legitimate sources such as iTunes and Hulu and removes links if they move consumers to illegal content.

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