Illegal downloads of 12 Years a Slave tripled after Oscars

5 Mar 2014

The success of a film at the Oscars appears to be a double-edged sword, as days after the film awards, illegal downloads of the highest-profile winning films have doubled and tripled.

According to the figures reported by TorrentFreak, the winner for best film, 12 Years A Slave, saw illegal downloads triple from before the event this past Sunday, while visual spectacular Gravity saw downloads double after it picked up several Oscars for the quality of its audio and visuals.

The day following the awards, 12 Years A Slave was downloaded 100,000 times over BitTorrent alone, with similar numbers estimated to have been downloaded on other major torrent providers, such as PirateBay, KickAss Torrents and Torrentz, all of which have a combined estimate of 95m monthly visitors.

The Hollywood film industry has always spoken loudly against the pirating and distribution of their films online and this news will no doubt only increase their calls for stronger regulations and punishment for those caught distributing these films.

The year 2013 was no different in pirating terms, with the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings tale, The Hobbit, being the most pirated film of last year with an estimated 8.4m downloads.

The year 2010 also saw The Hurt Locker as the most searched for and downloaded film after its Oscar success in that year’s awards ceremony.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic