Pirates film ransom likely to go ignored

Published on: 22 May 2017

Hackers are learning the hard way that piracy no longer pays after attempts to milk a ransom over the release of a summer blockbuster film was ignored.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was just 10 days away from screening in cinemas worldwide when hackers stole a copy from a post-production company in LA.

The hackers demanded Disney - the studio behind the fifth instalment in the Pirates franchise - cough up $80,000 (£61,700), which is pocket change compared to the $3 billion the films have generated to date.

If payment wasn’t received, the hackers would release the film to torrent sites.

However, entertainment and technology experts believe that leaking the film ahead of its May 26th release date will have little effect on the movie’s impact and box office takings.

That’s because in the grand scheme of things, with just little over a week until the film is released, fans are more likely to wait to enjoy it on the big screen as it was intended.

Additionally, use of torrents today is barely a fifth of what it was a few years ago.

In 2011, BitTorrent accounted for 23 per cent of US broadband traffic, but in 2017, it is just five per cent.

This is the result of the rise of on-demand services like Netflix and Spotify, where users can stream thousands of movies and songs for a small monthly fee without any of the fuss and hoop-jumping involved with torrents.

It seems hackers have targeted the wrong vessel in this case.