It has been more than a week since the U.S. government cracked down on piracy,media reported. While SPARKS was the main target of the operation, many other piracy organizations were directly or indirectly affected. Now that the dust settles, let’s see how the operation affects these organizations.
Millions of people download or stream pirated content, including movies, TV shows, games, MP3s and books, every day.
Many of these files come from a small, well-organized “community” — often referred to as The Scene — that consists of dozens of smaller “publishing groups.”
These organizations often operate in the dark and show little or no public appearance. At least that’s an unwritten rule. The reasons behind this are obvious, as those involved could be jailed if caught.
Scene members were caught in a rare case, but last week the U.S. government declared a major victory. SPARKS is at the heart of several raids and arrests carried out by the country’s police with the help of international law enforcement partners.
On Tuesday, the first reports of possible enforcement action emerged. A day later, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed that three people had been indicted. All face long prison terms on charges of conspiracy to infringe copyright.
While the main accused were the hardest hit, it was clear that last week’s action had far more impact than that. Dozens of top websites are believed to have been taken down in the raid, with many more suspended just in case.
The number of new content releases in Scene decreased.
Scene’s numbers began to decline on Tuesday, local time, after the first rumors about the raid spread. A day later, scene became quieter when the confirmation news came.
These declines can be seen from the data provided by Predb.org and some categories are more affected.
Before delving into the specific group, two sets of data can be summed up: on Wednesday, August 19th, there were 1944 new releases, and a week later, a day after the first raid, the number dropped to 168.
There has been a decline in the number of new releases in all categories. Below is a line chart of the most popular “TV-X64” category, where the date of the raid is clearly visible.
Similar trends can be observed in other categories, such as anime, X264 (movies), and XXX, as follows:
Although the number released after the raid decreased significantly, there were still some. But that’s not the case with other categories, such as games and e-books, which didn’t launch anything new in the days after the raid.
A closer look at individual distribution groups in the TV and film categories reveals that some distribution groups have disappeared altogether.
As to whether this effect will last, only time will tell.