Oscar winner '12 Years a Slave' sees illegal downloads triple

One of the side effects of winning an Academy Award for best picture is experiencing an uptick in piracy.

The movie "12 Years a Slave" swept the Academy Awards on Sunday and apparently it's also now sweeping movie download sites. According to TorrentFreak, the number of people illegally sharing the movie tripled the day after it won the Oscar for best picture.

On Monday, the movie saw 100,000 more downloads that the usual amount, according to TorrentFreak. Reportedly, the downloads are being shared through BitTorrents.

It's not only "12 Years a Slave" that's experiencing massive downloads, the movie "Gravity" also saw double the downloads after it won seven Academy Awards on Sunday.

It's likely that legitimate means of watching Oscar-winning movies also saw an increase after the awards show. Typically, after big wins or several nominations, movies will have an uptick in digital and box office sales.

For example, after being nominated for three Academy Awards last year, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" saw both increased digital sales and illegal downloads.

Movie studios tend to loath illegal downloading and piracy. In 2010, Voltage Pictures, which made Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker," filed a lawsuit against more than 25,000 people who allegedly illegally downloaded the movie. After being drawn out for almost two years, the case finally ended with an undisclosed number of settlements.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.


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