Why Netflix doesn’t allow users to take screenshots

Netflix Piracy
Netflix Piracy

Netflix has grown into one of the most influential video streaming services in the world. Netflix doesn’t allow users to take screenshots or to record a screencast in its Android and iOS application worldwide. There are many reasons for restricting users to take screenshots of the ongoing shows which they are watching. The main reason users aren’t allowed to take screenshots is to prevent piracy of licensed movies and Tv shows.

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Netflix Homepage

Netflix has a vast range of Tv shows and movies on its homepage. The main UI has made it easy for users to binge-watch any show whenever they feel like it. The homepage gets updated every day with fresh categorized recommendations. But, not every show you are looking or searching for is available on Netflix. With every company starting their own streaming service, it’s getting tough to buy premium plans of each streaming platform and that’s how piracy gets into action.

During the lockdown period, I observed many people and my friends hopping on notifications that said, ‘Xyz just joined telegram’. Yes, Telegram saw a sudden growth in app downloads this year. Telegram is becoming the second ‘Pirates Bay’ where you can find almost every paid-content for free. But, mind you, it’s not legal. I mean, not telegram, but pirating content and publishing it on clouds for free.

Piracy is the illegal copying and distribution of movies and represents an estimated loss to music and movie streaming companies of up to $180 million a year in India only.

According to a case study prepared by LEK,

  • The major U.S motion picture studios lost $6.1 billion in 2005 to piracy worldwide.
  • 80 percent of those losses resulted from piracy overseas, 20 percent from piracy in the U.S.
  • 38 percent of $6.1 billion was from internet piracy.
  • The major countries contributing to piracy are China, Russia, Thailand, and India.

Piracy is one of the major threats to all streaming services. Before the Internet becoming a boom, piraters used to sell fake DVDs and CDs of pirated movies. But piracy is making a comeback in the streaming age as it’s becoming easier for people to pirate content and making it accessible to the audience for free, contributing to the losses to online streaming companies.

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