POPULARITY and piracy go hand in hand and The Walking Dead is no exception.The television series was illegally downloaded an astounding 6.9 million times in 2015, making it second only to Game of Thrones, which was pirated 7.5 million times.Although, it appears copyright holder AMC has finally had enough and is implementing measures to stop scurvy dogs downloading episodes of The Walking Dead.
Operating under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, AMC sent take-down notices to popular piracy websites over the weekend.
The result was one of the more successful efforts in recent times, with almost every torrent for the ninth episode of The Walking Dead taken offline.With the 10th episode just released, pirates will have to be quick as AMC will be issuing take-down requests once again.
An operator of a smaller torrent site, that processes take-down requests automatically, said he was shocked at how effective the policing of the television show had been
“It was quite surprising not to find the episode I was looking for. For the first time in my life I had to actually use a file locker, not by choice but by the effectiveness of DMCA,” he told TorrentFreak.
“It literally made my life more annoying for about two minutes.”
While obviously highly effective, the take-down threats are not enough to force all piracy websites into complying and users can still find a torrent by patiently browsing the internet.
Perhaps AMC are hoping the annoyance of searching for a torrent will drive people to legal alternatives, but just in case this doesn’t do the trick, the copyright holder has a plan B.
In an attempt to track down where leaks occur, AMC has enlisted the help of NexGuard’s forensic watermarking technology for all of its shows, including The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul.
The technology will see the cable channel forensically watermarking a unique identifier during the post-production process, which ensures worldwide distribution is both traceable and secure.
AMC executive vice president Steve Pontillo said the technology was a major step up in the fight against the illegal redistribution of video content.
“It is paramount for us to protect our assets when they are at their most valuable,” he said in a statement.
“NexGuard’s watermarking technology enables AMC Networks to trace the source of potential illegal copies of each video asset; this enhanced content security is a powerful deterrent against piracy and protects our revenue and that of our distribution partners.”
Whether or not the efforts will have any long term results are yet to be seen, but one would have to think the pirates will still find a way.