A few hours ago, the slacktivist looters of our age, aka pirates, received a cease-and-desist letter from the Motion Picture Association's Jan van Voorn, VP of Content Protection. The warning, which Torrent Freak posted in full on the site, asks major torrent link hosts to... stop the copyright infringement already! In other words, it's still more of the same saber rattling we've heard before.

This comes soon after the leaky premiere of the new Game of Thrones season, and only a day after HBO made a blustery splash in the news with a similar type of warning to Periscope for fear of unlawful streams of today's Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing event cropping up on the popular Twitter-owned app. They'd like the fans of the sport to pay for the privilege instead, or else go to a pub and transfer that cost to the owner - for whom the right to stream the event live rises with the headcount, at a whopping 25 bucks a punter.

1. The pirates' movie coffers are snug, ride high on tech, with easy onboarding

For a glimpse into the bright future of piracy, one need only look at the fast-paced rate at which the app ecosystem is growing. App devs, big players and basement dwellers alike, will not stop coming up with ways to cut out middlemen who push on with tech-unfriendly business models ("ancient" from the Gen-Z POV ). The dervish dev keeps improving the user's in-app - or, for pirate sites, her on-site - experience to the point that the paid moral high ground isn't worth the bother.

The proof is in the popcorn - namely, Popcorn Time's taken off like gangbusters and its recent ISP block in the UK will probably result in proxies and even more traction with the people. Lastly on the comfort front, and what really brings it home for diehard film buffs, the pirates' always updated (crowdsourced) video library is unrivalled - seeing as there's no need to deadhead every month.

2. Flying the pirate flag is a feat of derring-do and a badge of honor

The studios won't win this through the legal channels - case in point, two months after Pirate Bay's severs were seized last December, the site was back online. Those were servers built into a mountain, mind you - because those are the details that live in infamy, that kind of cloak-and-dagger touch can rally hundreds. When the site's founding pirates were put on trial, the butter-wouldn't-melt defense they mounted might not have served them very well, but TFB APK, the documentary chronicling their fight against the Goliaths, sure did. Challenging pirates on legal grounds is a losing fight for studios not because they don't hold water - but because the pirates have a much stronger track record with netizens.

When studios are seen pushing back against grassroots freebie providers, they're actually digging themselves in a very unpopular hole that we regular folks disdainfully dub "The System." To cap it all off, for most people, copyright or supporting the arts doesn't come into the Saturday-night-binge-session decision - it's really all about the fun, so the most that studio's browbeating can do is alienate.

A possible avenue that studios and networks will want to explore further on is personalization - a big trend taking over everything from your smartphones to Sephora. The pirate alternatives, where the bulk of the surfing is done undercover by definition and necessity, can't cater to their user by providing that personal touch. But will that be enough? I fear my money's on the indie techies getting there first. #Television #Internet