Coronavirus: Self-Isolation Sees Piracy Surge

Coronavirus: Self-Isolation Sees Piracy Surge

As you may have guessed, with self-isolation and the lockdown of entire countries, people are spending more time at home, and there be pirates amongst them. Yarrr!

Cooping people up indoors and restricting movement has had in some interesting – and predictable – results, with searches for legit streaming services and illegal torrent sites on the rise; especially in countries that have been locked down already, like Italy.

Google trends shows a spike in the search term ‘Netflix’ over the past 30 days in Italy, but interest in pirate sites is also up as people who can’t work from home are finding ways to while away their newfound time. They can’t go out to entertain themselves, so binge-watching seems to be a popular alternative entertainment. As well as large pirate streaming sites, searches for popular local pirate sites like Eurostreaming, Guardaserie, Filmpertutti, and Altadefinizione have shot up as well.

Spain’s lock down was only recently announced, while here in the UK the government has been slower to implement such measures, with the decision to shut down schools only just being made yesterday. As people hunker down, they’ll need to find something to occupy their time with.

Online gaming is also taking a hit as servers struggle to cope with the increased load. So dig out Skyrim for another playthrough, or find some single-player, offline games from your pile of shame that you’ve yet to finish, because multiplayer gaming could be more stress than it’s worth right now.

Real-Debrid, a download and streaming service, reported record-breaking traffic, and after installing a new server to deal with the new capacity, tweeted that the traffic spike was 20 per cent higher than the previous day.

We’ve already seen the effects of the pandemic on people who are still panic buying in droves, creating the very scenario that they’re afraid of happening, and screwing over everyone else in the process. Businesses are closing or getting creative in order to stay open. McDonald’s announced that in-store seating is off the table, while a London brewery is bringing the pub to you, with its Pub In A Box. As more people batten down the hatches, online streaming and gaming services are going to be struggling to keep up, so we’ll how this all shakes out when we inevitably join the lock down crew.


This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.

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