A recent leak of the 4K version of the Aquaman movie could have originated via a breach on Apple's iTunes. Movie piracy goes way back to the early days of the Internet, with many pirates originally just going into theaters and recording movies with video cameras. Those files would then get shared on the Internet, mostly through torrent sites, with some fans downloading the file to watch an inferior quality version of the movie, rather than pay to see it in theaters.
Thanks to the Internet getting faster and technology getting better, though, digital movie files began to improve as pirates got more tech-savvy and started to make copies of DVD files and hack into movie databases. There is obviously a demand for people who want to see movies for free, but there is also a downside: It can prevent films from reaching the kind of box office success they deserve. Kick-Ass star Chloe Moretz once claimed the reason there was never a Kick-Ass 3 was because Kick-Ass 2 was pirated so much it failed to meet box office numbers. Movie companies and studies have tried to come together to battle piracy, but it always seems like the pirates remain one step ahead of their efforts.
Pirates now have done what most would have once thought impossible: It seems they have successfully managed to breach iTunes and steal a digital copy of the 4K version of Aquaman. TorrentFreak reports a high-quality pirated copy of the movie appeared online recently. Most believe it came from iTunes because the pirated copy of the movie came out just before it went on sale on iTunes and because there were no other 4K releases of the film available yet on other services when it turned up. If it did come from iTunes, it would mark the first time that pirates have managed to breach the site.
If so, it is highly likely that Apple will fix iTunes quickly to prevent pirates from accessing its files. However, the very nature of the Internet continues to create an environment where piracy runs rampant, and it's also likely that pirates will continue to attempt to hack into the site. Piracy is so prevalent that in television, a show's popularity can be estimated based on how much it is pirated. For example, The Walking Dead was the most-pirated TV show of 2018.
There is no stopping piracy, and many would go so far as to blame the entertainment industry itself for it becoming such a problem. Actor and geek icon Wil Wheaton once blamed Hollywood for not having enough alternatives to piracy, although since those comments were made in 2011, some companies have attempted to make efforts in making their content more available online. However, piracy is still a significant hurdle for the industry to face and it's almost impossible to compete with something that some movie fans see as free.
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