In a surprise to no one, being stuck indoors has lead to people looking for ways to occupy their time, and that’s seen a surge in piracy. Interestingly, we can see how the measures each country has taken in response to the pandemic has been reflected in those numbers.
TorrentFreak has done all of the hard work and, as you’d expect, countries that have had more stringent measures for keeping people indoors have had clear and significant spikes in piracy, with a new base level being established as people sit inside twiddling their thumbs with nothing better to do. We can see that in the charts below for Italy, which announced its lockdown on March 9; Spain, whose lockdown came into effect on March 14; Argentina, which issued a lockdown on March 19; and Saudi Arabia which began locking things down on March 9. The number of downloads and unique IP addresses shoots up and then settles at its new normal.
Meanwhile, in places with less stringent measures in place where people can move around freely to some extent, the effect is less pronounced. In the UK and over in Sweden, there’s not been as drastic an increase.
The uptick in the charts mirrors the rollout of self-isolation and lockdown measures in each country – to the day, in most cases. It’s likely that they’ll return to normal afterwards along with the surge we’ve seen in data usage because when work resumes for the majority of people, there’ll be less time to sit around streaming all day. But for now, what else is there to do? Bugger all. [TorrentFreak]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.