People looking for torrents had a harder time this past year. This came shortly after KickassTorrents went down, and then Torrentz.edu and TorrentHound quickly followed suit. But while The Pirate Bay is still there to hold the fort, an unlikely alternative is starting to shape up. And that alternative is Google Drive. Yes, the place where you store your files is becoming a way for people to illegally download and share music, movies and games. But Hollywood studios and other copyright holders are inundating Google with nearly 5000 take down requests in the last 30 days.
Google’s cloud service has become such a popular recourse to The Pirate Bay that each infringing complaint is accompanied by at least a doze Drive-hosted files. Pirates have come up with various workarounds to slip through Google’s defenses. They would often use Google Drive to share downloadable links for media files, or they would merely share empty links with embedded YouTube videos in order to avoid detection. In order to avoid getting caught, pirates have made all of these clips unlisted and have instead opted to distribute them on numerous underground forums. Such as through Facebook groups and other discussion boards. Which makes it more difficult for both Google and those copyright holders to discover and flag the files.
Earlier this year, Google revealed that it has been using a technique, commonly known as file-hashing to thwart the spread of infringing content early on, but it turns out that approach isn’t entirely fool proof. Other complaints are being made against services like DropBox, OneDrive and Kim Dotcom’s Mega. But it gets even crazier. People have even put streaming links into My Maps, which lets you create and share custom maps. And this is because Google has no verification protocol in the place on that platform.
The reason that this is being used is because of the ease of accessibility and amount of storage available from Google. You get 15GB of free storage from Google. Whereas you only get 5GB from OneDrive and 2GB from DropBox. Given the intensity in which Hollywood is going after Google, it’s only a matter of time before this comes to an end. Don’t you think?
I also wonder how difficult this actually is? I have mentioned before that in order to make people want to do something, it has to be easy. People are inherently lazy. Myself included. So I wonder if this process makes it easier to download these files than through a torrent site? And if yes, Google has it’s job cut out for itself. Finding the files sounds like it’s not an easy task. The people uploading the files are advertising via Facebook groups. Which sounds like it might not be that easy to locate. Is it possible for Facebook to remove these groups due to the illegal activity? Or is that going to be just another venue that the copyright holders have to take?
Honestly though, this sounds like a lot of work. Why not just pay for a subscription and watch the content that way? Some of you are probably going to argue that Hollywood makes a lot of money etc. etc., and you’re not wrong. But when it comes down to time or money, the choice, in my opinion seems clear.