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Most TV series downloaders are in the UK

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 18 Feb 2005 7:08 User comments (41)

Most TV series downloaders are in the UK As Television stations and production companies are quickly realising what they call a new problem with TV piracy, the analysts are rushing to give the world some details on the amount of TV shows that are being pirated around the world on the Internet. According to research, UK internet users illegally download the most TV shows from the net. In some cases with American series, British TV viewers have to wait from weeks to months to see the latest episodes of a certain series.
About 18% of the total downloader’s tracked are from the UK according to Envisional. They also claim that TV show downloading increased by 150% in the last year. About 70% of those downloads were from BitTorrent sites. "It's now as easy to download a pirate TV show as it is to programme a VCR," said Ben Coppin from Envisional. A typical episode of 24 was downloaded by about 100,000 people globally, said the report, and an estimated 20,000 of those were from within the UK.

Personal Video Recorders (PVR) like TiVo boxes and Sky+ are being blamed for helping to set this "new" trend of sharing. One of the most worrying things to TV stations is that the downloads usually come with the advertisements completely cut out. Because of the length difference between full length movies and episodes of tv shows, they can appear online much quicker. The most popular would be HDTV (High Definition TV) downloads which offer very high quality.


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41 user comments

118.2.2005 7:51

I don't see why TV series downloading is illegal. I can tape record shows and share them with my friends why I can't capture shows and share them with my friends? I can think of 2 benefits to users. One is there is no commercial. Two is I don't have to worry about forget setting my vcr to record the series.

218.2.2005 8:36

TV producers are stuck between the time a show airs and dvd release of the season -- it's so long. They should go the iTunes route. No DRM protection either.

318.2.2005 8:58

p200002, it's because when you download it's either: a) a rip from a dvd (obvious why they don't want that), or b) a divx/xvid conversion of a recent broadcast without commercials. So the reasoning is the same with why they banned that particular ReplayTV model--they don't want you having access to the show without at least having to fast-forward through commercials. Plus some of them, obviously, are HBO/Showtime content, which puts it in the same category as a ripped dvd I figure if they're going to force me (as ashroy01 said) to wait a year or two, sometimes longer, to get the dvd then they've created this problem themselves. Screw 'em.

418.2.2005 9:07

My view is this: Take Stargate Atlantis for example, a show is broadcast in the states 2 months (ish) before we get it over here. Do they really expect us to wait THAT long !!!!! hmmmmmmmm

518.2.2005 9:16

Yeah, people should be able to download TV series. I think this is really just to save the advertisers asses, as I know that if I download a series not yet on DVD, then I will buy the DVD once it becomes available, if ever. I have downloaded some anime that is still only in episode 20(-/+) here in the US, out of 51 total episodes released in Japan. With P2P, they have given me the opportunity to see the rest of the show, and I will buy the DVDs when they are available (currently only DVD 1 with a few episodes is out). Another thing, I have never seen any anime publishers complaining about downloading, as I know a lot of downloading is anime.

618.2.2005 10:04

Perhaps some will still buy the dvd after they've downloaded, but I doubt many would. For example, you download kick-ass Xvid copies of season 1 of Arrested Development. All 20+ episodes can be burned onto one dvd and played in a DivX-enabled dvd player. Sorry, but what incentive is there, then, to go out and buy the dvds when they become available?

718.2.2005 11:34

I only download tv shows, because they dont show them on British tv for weeks after they come out after america and I really wanna see them

818.2.2005 11:36

IMO recording TV shows is not Piracy, they are broadcasting it into the open (OTA) typically thus it is in the public domain. The commercials being cut out is just an excuse on their part, they just recently (past couple of years) started to really distribute TV shows on DVD, now they cry wolf because they are slow on the up take? Geesh! Fast forwarding or cutting out commercials whats the diff? None that I can see, either way I don't watch them. THey should debut the shows at the same time (in the US and abroad or visa-versa)thus eliminating the supposed problem. Its the same old story, they want to pick our pockets clean, they want it where we pay for everything, next we'll get slapped with a fee for breathing. This insanity has to stop!

918.2.2005 13:54

This is so ridiculous! These guys from the US TV industry have some balls for even making an issue of this. First off, they don't own the airwaves they broadcast on. As an American, I own them, just like I own this keyboard that I am typing on. It's the same for every single American citizen. This thing that the American citizens own, the airwaves, is worth billions and billions of dollars a year. And these sleazey corporate f*cks get the right to use my property for free. They don't pay one single penny to use my property to make billions of dollars a year. And the worst thing, almost unbelievable, is that the only thing they have to do to continue to make billions of dollars a year on the use of my property is to fill out one form, every 8 years, with information that can fit on a 3x5 index card. If they start sueing people, I think I'm going to lose all faith in the free market system.

1018.2.2005 14:05

I have a hard time understanding this whole TV piracy thing. There are two shows that I download religiously thinking it would be fine since one is on FOX and the other is Top Gear out of the UK. Now, one show is broadcast over regular channels and the other is a show that will never reach our American shores. How is this piracy. If I could buy episodes of Top Gear, I would, but it isn't even an option since we do not use the PAL format of broadcast. I guess the media companies are just looking for anything to slap the label of "Piracy" on. It just drives me nuts.

1118.2.2005 14:16

All good point, though your analogy breaks down, Balaam. You're right that they don't own the airwaves, but they don't claim that they do. They own the CONTENT that's on the airwaves, and there's really no way to dispute that. What you do with the stuff you grab (via VCR, computer, DVD recorder,...) off the air is your business, provided you do it in your own home. Distributing it is another thing entirely. What sucks is the whole overseas issue, since these folks have no other way of getting the content. The other thing that sucks is that many people, like me, actually subscribe to HBO, but aren't always home to watch an episode of, say, The Sopranos, live. It's absolute nonsense for them to say it's OK for me to set my VCR to record the program but not to simply download a copy that some helpful person has ripped from an HD signal and then compressed with Xvid. In that case, I have already PAID for the f*&$ing content that I'm downloading.

1218.2.2005 14:36

It's not illegal for you to download the content, it's illegal for the person providing the content to allow you to download it. With the example you just gave, you would never get in trouble, but the person or people uploading the show have now way to control who is downloading or ensure that those people have the right to view that content.

1318.2.2005 14:57

If so, then why are some downloaders being sued as opposed to just owners of servers and people who seed? I believe that even in the example I gave that I'd be technically breaking the law since I'm participating in the dissemination of the content, and that's illegal, whether you're giving or taking.

1418.2.2005 15:31

If so, then why are some downloaders being sued as opposed to just owners of servers and people who seed? The answer is in your question, If you download....then by the very nature of file seed. File sharing methods have been developed so that one can not exist without the other. 'The scene' only exists because of that fact. Yes I appreciate that YOU subscribe to the channel whose content your DL'ing. Does that make it Do the general public think your doing anything wrong… As I have said before, it's about time these ignorant SOB's took a good long look at what is going on in the net community….and embrace it. The internet has given us the channel through which we can not only voice our opinions....but take action. They can fight it as much as they like, ultimately they will have to change the way they work. Taking legal action against individuals only strengthens the argument……likewise…...Take down a server, and another will take its place. What we are experiencing today is just the first few ripples in the build up to a wave that will eventually sink their corporate boat......and they know they panic, and lash out. MPAA follows RIAA because they see it working. I assure you that they are both well aware of the fact that this is a short term solution. Rather than embrace…and invest in new technology and use it to their advantage (take viral advertising for that was a SMART move, word of mouth sells) They attack something over which they have no control. What used to be an industry over which they had so much control, delivered when they want, to who they want, is fading. Power to the consumer. We have been lining their pockets for years!!! Edit taken from lokitorrent

There are websites that provide legal downloads. This is not one of them. This website has been permanently shut down by court order ...
I know of at least 50+ more sites still operating and it grows every day.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Feb 2005 @ 15:36

1518.2.2005 15:50

I completely agree, the one caveat being that some of the older methods don't force you to share (though obviously enough people must or it doesn't work at all as a model). BitTorrent, that sweet angel of technology, does force you, of course, as it should. It's remarkable how these corporate morons repeat the same mistakes. Whether it be suing file sharers, developing more and more encryption schemes (all broken within days, of course), or selling things like blank "audio cd-rs" at inflated prices because they assume the blank is being used to copy copyrighted material (for fools who don't realize that a regular cd-r can serve the same purpose, and for a lot less), all they do is alienate their customers and create an us against them atmosphere. Personally, I can't wait for the next sharing technology to emerge, if for no other reason than to watch these idiots choke on their own vomit yet again.

1619.2.2005 0:07

"Most TV series downloaders are in the UK" Wrong. The article said nothing of the sort. "About 18% of the total downloader’s tracked are from the UK according to Envisional." In other words, 82% are from other places. You should have just copied the BBC headline, which is accurate: "UK net users leading TV downloads"

1719.2.2005 2:34

I would like to add my 5cents worth. I used to download movies, but gave up after realising the quality of most leaves a lot to be desired and it takes a long time to convert them to disc to watch on regular tv,i now wait until they are shown on tv and/or will buy dvds, now i only get shows that are from UK and highly unlikekly to be shown in USA. Used to watch Eastenders on BBC America till they pulled the plug, then was watching it on ppv until i moved and got cable (much faster than DSL), if i could get the shows on my cable i would pay them, the technology is available to do this, but advertisers dont want there comercials shown in different markets. If the movie and song bussinesses would let people get low quality copies of their product for free then sales would increase?

1819.2.2005 6:24

downloading tv shows is the same as taping it, which was ruled legal. but seriously wheres the beef? i download episodes that i missed or really really liked. i doubt anyone actualy downloads entire series, it takes too long and too much hard drive. With all the time to download and convert a whole series, buying it makes alot more sence if you want an entire season/series. But if i just missed last weeks episode of 24 and dont feel like being out of the loop next week (if you've seen 24 you know its easy to get lost if you miss a few episodes), why cant i download it?

1919.2.2005 9:38

Not necessarily. With a cable connection and not that much hard drive space (by today's standards), you can download an entire season of 24, as approximately 350MB Xvid files, converted from a high def signal, while you sleep. Oh yeah, and the encoder has, of course, removed the commercials for you. Where's the difficulty/inconvenience in that?

2019.2.2005 13:34

Yeah, I have atleast 5 full series on my 300GB hard drive, but maybe most people don't have 3Mb cable or buy huge drives like me...

2120.2.2005 5:28

This is yet another completely ridiculous statement. The only shows i download are shows that i cannot watch here in the UK...hence why i download them.i.e: home movies, aqua teen hunger force, harvey birdman, drawn together, and various other shows. It's exactly the same as lending a DVD to a friend, or saving things on your TiVo...if they try sueing for this...alot of people WILL fight back and probably win. Hell, i know i'll fight back. Dan x

2220.2.2005 8:40

The tv shows are broadcast over the "Public Airways" doesn't that mean that anyone can recive it and do with it what thay want?

2320.2.2005 8:40

The tv shows are broadcast over the "Public Airways" doesn't that mean that anyone can recive it and do with it what thay want?

2420.2.2005 9:35

Stew, that Ferrari you just saw was on a public street, that doesn't mean YOU can do with it what you want. The airwaves are public, what's broadcast on them is decidedly private. Still, these guys are killing their customers with this petty copyright enforcement.

2520.2.2005 12:39

makes a change uk been big downloaders... sick of the american laws trying to control everyone and everything, boing boing baggies baggies

2620.2.2005 16:31

westbrom, yeah, you're right. I think it was suprnova (maybe another site, I forget), back before they got shut down, which got essentially a cease and desist letter from the MPAA. Their response was basically, "We are located in Finland, which as you may or may not be aware is not part of the US, thus your laws do not apply..." But how is this any different than anything else the US does? You'll either listen to us or get crushed, whether it's business or anything else. (I say this as a decidedly embarassed American, BTW)!

2820.2.2005 19:03

Letukka, that's the one, good find! :)

2920.2.2005 19:39

those responses to the threats are hilarious, everybody should read them.

3020.2.2005 20:03

Hilarious until they got shut down, like almost everybody else :-(

3120.2.2005 22:50

mrchub: Sorry to break this to you but Piratebay is very alive and kicking :) Is it against the rules if I put the URL on this? Well..try google ;)

3221.2.2005 0:53

sorry to come off this thread just for one moment, when america wants you to sighn up for somthing or go to war, allmost everyone backs them.... now some one in the uk wants everyone to sign up for this help on global warming... everyone yes, AMERICA .. no. why not you have the biggest cars makein the biggest mess. so why should we listen to there laws.. sorry about that you can get back to downloaders in uk now, ta boing boing baggies baggies

3321.2.2005 8:35

IMHO, Westbrom, America often <i>doesn't</i> have support for what it wants to do, though it pretends it does and then does whatever the hell it wants anyway. Look at Iraq. Who besides the Brits went along with that? As for global warming, it's always "whatever works for us," not what works for the world. And when you add on the fact that the prez is a whacked out evangelical Christian, well, my country is screwed. History tells us these things don't last forever... Anyway, now let's <i>really</i> get back to the topic ;-)

3427.2.2005 1:39

If UK viewers didn't have to wait 6 months or so it wouldn't be as much of a problem. How long has the new Enterprise been out in the USA? The UK don't get to see it for over another week yet!

3527.2.2005 2:04

Its crap anyway....didnt they pull the plug on it..look at this:

3627.2.2005 4:33

they never should have let upn run it- you guys+ didnt miss anything

3727.2.2005 5:46

Lol, Enterprise was an example of how long UK viewers have to wait for TV shows to be aired.

3829.8.2005 8:07

Hello - I am living in the US and would like to know if there is anywhere I can download "Eastenders"??? Thanks

3929.8.2005 10:05

Eastenders is available at a members only site , send me a pvt msg so i can send u the link, Craig G

402.9.2005 13:18

yes mitch id love that link tah....i hav pm'd u m8. thx. lol we are up to about episode 8 of 'lost' over here. got the HDTV ones though. all on dvd best i going to buy it if it comes out?? lol :D

413.9.2005 5:39

i would just like to say that after watching a BBC documentory about the internet all this hipe about p2p downloaders being prosecuted may be a mute point as the US government has the ability to close any site it chooses due to the fact thet all .com .org or whatever web addresses are controlled by a central company in California, so think about it, if Hollywood puts enough pressure or money on Congress the sites will close, BIG BROTHER really can control you, Craig G.

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