Weekend Witness - - Arts -

AM­S­TER­DAM — Movie fans down­load­ing free pi­rated films are no longer Hollywood’s worst night­mare, but that’s only be­cause of a newer men­ace: cheap and equally il­le­gal sub­scrip­tion ser­vices. For­eign, of­ten mob­run, busi­nesses ag­gre­gate il­le­gally ob­tained movies into “cy­ber­lock­ers’’ sim­i­lar to In­ter­net stor­age sites used by in­di­vid­ual con­sumers to squir­rel away pi­rated video. But the for­profit ver­sion of this phe­nom­e­non has spawned an ar­ray of so­phis­ti­cated and seem­ingly rep­utable sites sell­ing un­lim­ited dig­i­tal movie files for as lit­tle as $5 a month.

“Cy­ber­lock­ers now rep­re­sent the pre­ferred method by which con­sumers are en­joy­ing pi­rated con­tent,’’ Para­mount Pic­tures chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Fred Hunts­berry said on Mon­day.

Com­monly, Hollywood movies are made avail­able via il­le­gal for­profit sites within days of the­atri­cal re­lease, while the ad­vent of global re­leas­ing now al­lows the pro­lif­er­a­tion of in­di­vid­ual ti­tles into an ar­ray of lan­guage dubs within the first month of a the­atri­cal de­but, he noted. — Reuters.

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