Podcast – The Multi-Billion-Dollar Piracy Industry with Tom Galvin of Digital Citizens Alliance

In this episode, I speak with Tom Galvin, CEO of Digital Citizens Alliance, about piracy of creative works and DCA’s latest report, issued this month in collaboration with the research group White Bullet. The report, entitled Breaking Bad(s): How Advertiser-Supported Piracy Helps Fuel a Booming Multi-Billion Dollar Illegal Market, reveals that piracy is a highly profitable criminal enterprise and is intertwined with other forms of cyber-crime—from personal identity theft to national security

Piracy of creative works like motion pictures, TV shows, music, and live sports is a vast and growing criminal enterprise. In its latest report, Digital Citizens Alliance estimates the combined advertising and subscription revenue generated by piracy is at least $2.34 billion annually. Meanwhile, in addition to its ill-effects on the creators whose works are pirated and the online advertising ecosystem, piracy plays a key role in fostering other forms of cyber crime.

Episode Contents

  • 01:52 – Breaking Bad(s) Report Overview
  • 04:05 – Ad and subscription supported piracy
  • 06:49 – The online advertising ecosystem.
  • 08:49 – Some successful mitigation since 2014.
  • 11:14 – The downsides of piracy for brands.
  • 15:10 – Major brands found were Amazon, Facebook, & Google.
  • 18:01 – It is possible to do something.
  • 19:24 – Advertiser pressure to get ad tech to clean up its act.
  • 21:09 – Dangers to the consumer.
  • 27:13 – Why aren’t the hazards deterrents?
  • 30:30 – Drive-by malware.
  • 32:07 – Piracy is a vertical for broader criminal enterprise.
  • 33:26 – What about solutions.
  • 37:33 – Even if you don’t care about copyright owners…
  • 40:30 – Intersection with disinformation campaigns?

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