JJ Abrams Star Trek did well at theaters and is selling strong on home video, but it appears that it is even more popular with online pirates. In fact, a new analysis shows it is the most popular BitTorrent download of the year. See below for details, and also info on how Paramount isn’t taking this lightly.
Pirates love Star Trek
When it comes to box office Star Trek is the #6 movie of 2009 domestically, and #10 globally (so far). But when it comes to pirates, Star Trek is at the top of the chart. According to torrentfreak the movie leads the 2009 pirated movies on BitTorrent with almost 11 million downloads. This beats the 2008 record set by The Dark Knight, which lead the 2008 films with 7 million. Here is the 2009 list.
- Star Trek
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- The Hangover
- District 9
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- State of Play
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Of course Star Trek fans are known to be tech-savvy. Back when Enterprise was cancelled, many fans noted that the show did much better with DVR viewers (and pirates) than it did with the general viewing public.
Paramount wants action – says piracy has gone from ‘geek to sleek’
This piracy has not gone without notice at Paramount. Last month the studio reported to the FCC that it had tracked more than five million IP addresses that downloaded one of six camcorded copies of the movie over the Summer (see chart).
CLICK TO SEE FULL ‘Star Trek Piracy Proliferation’ Chart
Paramount is particularly concerned about streaming video websites that host pirated video, which appear to be legitimate to casual Internet users who may confuse them for sties like Hulu. In their letter to the FCC Paramount stated:
Today, literally anyone with an internet connection can do it. Clunky websites are being replaced by legitimate looking and legitimate feeling pirate movie websites, a perception enhanced by the presence of premium advertisers and subscription fees processed by major financial institutions.
Paramount is lobbying the government to help the Hollywood studios stop online piracy. Specifically they asked :
[We] must have the legal and regulatory flexibility to use technological tools in partnership with Internet service providers to stem the tide of online copyright theft.
You can read the entire Paramount letter to the FCC here.
Paramount COO Frederick Huntsberry also gave a presentation about piracy which went over many of the points in the letter, again using Star Trek as the prime example. Ironically video of that speech was pirated.