There was a time when piracy was the most normal thing in the world. And we’re not talking about the 16th or 17th centuries between the Spanish and English in the waters of the Caribbean. We’re talking about the early 2000s when torrents were the most normal thing in the world.
Pirated content exists in many forms. In the early 90s, cassettes and floppy disks were popular, but later on, they were replaced by CDs and other more modern storage forms, like USB drives.
As these changes were taking place, internet-based piracy took off. From Napster to Kazaa, torrents, and streaming services, piracy reached nearly every household around the world.
A practice that has evolved over the years
Today, most pirates have become accustomed to the convenience of on-demand streaming, but other variations still exist.
The business of pirated DVDs has been around for more than two decades, but it usually takes place offline. However, it seems that sellers have also adapted to the opportunities and convenience of the internet.
And with outlets like Etsy (in the US), which provide a simple storefront, selling is easier than ever. Of course, there are no longer DVDs; now, we have USB drives with dozens of gigabytes of storage.
Although Etsy isn’t the only platform openly selling pirated content, the issue appears to prevail on it. Simply typing search phrases like “USB movies” or “USB TV shows” yields hundreds of results.
Handcrafted piracy in the midst of 2023
Most of these USB drives are labeled as “handmade.” It’s not clear what that entails, but it’s likely that these sellers have manually downloaded the pirated products at some point, curated selections of movies and TV shows, and then added them to the USB drives.
This “craftsmanship” results in titles as popular as “80 Action Movies USB” and “South Park Seasons 1-26 and Movie on USB.”
Prices vary, ranging from a few dollars for a single TV series on a USB drive to $1,200 for a collection of over 10,000 movies on a 12TB external hard drive. The sky appears to be the limit.
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