Pirated Movies Appear Again on YouTube

By Kenna McHugh 

In the last few days, some rather poor versions of recent movies Fast Five and Scream 4, along with about twenty-five other feature films, where being viewed on YouTube.

PC Mag reports that movies including Disney/Pixar’s Cars, Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda 2, and Columbia Pictures’ Black Hawk Down were also available for viewing on YouTube. And, it doesn’t stop there with more movies cropping up with every click.

The magazine seems to think “Google’s decision to eliminate upload time limits for trusted users may have backfired.”

I checked around a bit and found most of the twenty-five feature films were blocked by the time I was able to click on the YouTube button. A notice popped up saying the YouTube account was terminated for copyright violations. That doesn’t mean there are not any pirated movies on YouTube. Pirated movies have appeared on YouTube throughout its existence and, probably, will continue until Google figures out a sure fire way to stop piracy.

PC Mag also reported that movies are clearly both uploaded from a DVD or from a camcorder and slipped into a movie theater. Taking a look at Fast Five, two separate versions (Hindi/English) of the same movie were available.

The pirated movies on YouTube are easy to find even though their titles are barely hidden. Some common titles are Scream 4 2011 for, you guessed it, Scream 4. Another example is Cars McQueen Full for Cars.

Google has created a system of discovering pirate movies on YouTube. It’s called Content ID, which requires a “fingerprint” or reference file of the copyrighted movie to be supplied to YouTube so that it can be automatically blocked. YouTube needs the fingerprint to automatically block the content.

I am sure this is not the end of piracy on YouTube, but a better system of monitoring video websites needs to be put in place; particularly with major studios investing in video streaming for YouTube and other on-demand sites.