Apple largely avoided the need to combat online piracy until the launch of Apple TV+ in November 2019. Since then, Apple TV+ shows and movies have proliferated throughout piracy sites across the internet.
From MacRumors’ findings, some of Apple’s most popular shows and movies have at least 2,000 active seeders on each major piracy site, going up to as many as approximately 125,000 seeders per title. Download trends broadly map to the popularity of Apple’s various shows and movies, with the likes of “Ted Lasso,” “The Morning Show,” and “SEE” garnering the most downloads.
A definite sign of traction for Apple TV+, a problem the Apple TV+ team is glad to be forced to deal with.
Enter the piracy enforcement partners:
Streaming production studios and distributors, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, have attempted to curtail the illegal sharing of movies and TV shows using specific enforcement partners who flag stolen content on their behalf. Apple has followed suit, inking working deals with multiple firms specializing in digital copyright protection, including Corsearch Inc. and OpSec Security. They operate by issuing DMCA takedown orders for pirated online content.
According to information accessed by MacRumors, Corsearch has issued more than 320,000 DMCA orders to Google, citing copyright infringement for Apple TV+ content. These orders only stop Google from indexing flagged piracy sites and do little to curtail the actual hosting of pirated content. Delist requests on Apple’s behalf reached an all-time high on August 16 this year, with more than 8,500 requests to Google in a single day.
MacRumors tracked numerous domains and URLs used to pirate Apple TV+ content and found that none were taken down by Apple or its partners over the course of a week. On the contrary, during this period, the website’s catalog of stolen Apple TV+ content grew, sometimes within just hours of new episodes being released on Apple TV+ itself.
Lots more detail in the article. A whack-a-mole problem with no real solution. But it shows there is a dedicated audience for Apple TV+ content.