Illegal piracy on the online forum, Reddit, has led to increasing crackdowns. SOPA Images / Contributor/Getty Images Piracy on Reddit has often run rampant on the community discussion website.
There are several subreddits dedicated to the discussion of piracy, but Reddit doesn’t officially allow pirated content.
Reddit has increased its content moderation efforts but still struggles to ensure its subreddits follow anti-piracy guidelines.
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Even if you’ve never used Reddit , you’ve no doubt heard of it; it’s one of the largest sites in the US , and with more than 2 million “subreddits,” it has a stunning depth and breadth of content.
With all that activity, it’s not surprising that Reddit has become a hub for digital piracy , and the site has struggled with managing copyright violations for several years. A subreddit called r/piracy (all subreddits begin with an “r/”) in particular has become the focus of some unwanted attention. Reddit’s piracy subreddit, explained
While other subreddits have occasionally shared copyrighted material, the r/piracy forum is, by design, for individuals interested in the tools, techniques, and resources of online piracy.
With more than 640,000 members, it was created in 2008 with the mission of being “a community dedicated to the discussion of digital piracy,” according to its own description. That you can find discussions of the vulnerabilities of piracy laws on Reddit is unsurprising.
“Google ‘reddit piracy’ and you’ll find lots of active links, where Reddit users openly discuss the weakness and vulnerabilities of various piracy laws,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, chief operating officer of Chargebacks911.
Given the subject matter, the piracy subreddit attempts to thread a particularly precarious needle. According to the rules of the subreddit, “submissions must be related to the discussion of digital piracy.” The rules of the forum specifically prohibit activities like linking directly to pirated media, requesting activation keys, asking others to download pirated content, or asking how to pirate specific copyrighted works (though generalized conversations about pirating techniques are acceptable). Though pirated content is prohibited on Reddit, some users have found ways to skirt around the rules. Chainarong Prasertthai/Getty Images A scan of r/piracy reveals an active community (at any given time, there are more than 1,000 users online) with threads about a diverse range of topics, including tips and tutorials on using popular tools and utilities, troubleshooting tips (“why are my 4K movies purple?”), and news about sources for copyrighted content.
Unlike many online forums elsewhere on the internet, though, r/piracy is a moderated community (Reddit moderators are unpaid volunteers from the community) and the discourse is largely civil and on-topic. The state of piracy on Reddit
Reddit has been attempting to address piracy on its platform for several years, with serious efforts to mitigate copyright infringement beginning around 2019. Eaton-Cardone said, “Reddit has banned some of the more blatant abusers — /r/NFLstreams, /r/NBAstreams, /r/soccerstreams, /r/UFCstreams, /r/WWEstreams — but Reddit is one of the largest sites in the world. Policing it is extraordinarily difficult.”
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