Technology and Digital Piracy

Technology has made our lives easier, but it has also brought new risks. We must be ever vigilant against identity thieves and hackers. Digital corporate espionage and international cyber warfare are growing threats. Piracy is also on the increase.

At least four pilots for the upcoming television season have been stolen and illegally made available on torrent Web sites before their official scheduled TV premieres. Those pilots are Minority Report, Lucifer, Blindspot, and The Carmichael Show. In the old days, bootleg copies of TV shows or movies were often of inferior quality, but these are high-definition versions.  Why should someone tune in to a show or pay to go see a movie they may have already seen? Sometimes, releasing a pilot episode early might boost awareness or whet viewers' appetites if the material is exceptionally good, but it might also kill demand.

High definition portable recording devices are changing our world, making citizens able to chronicle and share their leisure activities as well as newsworthy moments, but it has also made it easier to illegally record copyrighted material. Benedict Cumberbatch has pleaded with his fans not to record his performance of Hamlet in London.

Wearable tech, like GoPro, Google Glass, or smart watches, are making it much simpler to record events without being detected, and the visual and audio quality is often far superior than the bulkier recording devices of the past. Live theater is different every night and nothing can beat being in the audience to experience it with one's own senses, but there is no denying that leaked footage can hurt ticket sales.

I am a technophile and love all the benefits that gadgets and the Internet have made possible. Yet I am also wary of the damage that such technology can cause in the wrong hands.