First he came for the U.S. government, but now it looks like the entertainment industry is next on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s revenge list. The notorious copyright outlaw took a break from lounging in bubble baths today to leak some compelling details of his U.S. indictment, a few of which shed a damning light on some entertainment industry bigwigs.
Web TV Wars
Ouhhhhhh, burn. People in SOPA-supporting Hollywood giants should stop throwing stones. Using a new site called You Have Downloaded, a Russian-based service that says it tracks about 20 percent of all public BitTorrent downloads, the fine folks at TorrentFreak took a look at IP addresses at entertainment conglomerates likes Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Entertainment and NBC Universal to see “whether these companies hold themselves to the same standards they demand of others.”
As you might expect, that’s a giant negative.
A week after Fox made users wait to watch new shows on Hulu for free, tech site TorrentFreak says they’ve seen a drastic rise in the volume of illegal downloads of Fox shows.
TorrentFreak reported that over the first five days of Fox’s service change, Hell’s Kitchen saw an over 100 percent rise in illegal downloads compared with three previous episodes, and that MasterChef saw a rise of over 189 percent for the same comparison.
Hulu users who don’t pay for the site’s premium version won’t be enjoying any content from Fox the morning after. Starting today, all Fox shows will be kept off the web for eight days, unless users subscribe to Hulu Plus or prove they pay for Dish Network. Peter Kafka reports that Disney’s ABC will be the next major network to put this kind of delay in place.
Poor Hulu. Born to a conglomerate of traditional TV networks that finally admitted they needed to do something about this whole, “web video” world, the company was always caught in a kind of Cronos paradox: the parents might kill their own child rather than let it grow up to threaten their power.
Recently the networks decided they would be better off selling Hulu to somebody else, making it easier down the road to reap lucrative fees for licensing the content they currently put on Hulu for free. But now it seems Fox has decided it can’t even wait for that sale to go down before basically cutting Hulu off at the knees.
The News Corp. network has announced that starting August 15th it will no longer put shows on Hulu the day after they air.