Eli5: How a movie can be pirated when it’s streaming but not when it’s on cinemas?


Take black widow for example, it was streaming on Disney plus so a lot of people could pirated it. Then there is Evangelion 3.0+ 1.0 it’s on cinemas in Japan right now but nobody can pirate the movie. Why is that?

In: Technology

1) It’s a heck of a lot easier to copy something from a streaming service because of screen and audio recording software. If something isn’t on a streaming service, then either someone has to lean a copy from the studio that made the movie (they risk losing their job over this, if not worse), or someone has to go and actually record the movie with a video camera (which is lower quality).

2) There’s probably less demand for Evangelion 3.0+ compared to Black Widow. Especially so if it’s only available in Japanese.

I’m not 100% sure what is the most popular method to get the file but when you have a stream, you can use your computer to capture the video and sound that’s being played. On the backend you’re virtually just playing a video file. So it can ultimately be copied. In a cinema you don’t have access to the actual file, the theater has access to it through something like a cartridge. So a pirater can at most only record the screen with a camera where when you stre you’re computer can control the stream.

Generally they are still pirated but they are really poor quality hand held camera footage from inside the theater. They just are not very popular so sometimes its harder to find them

You can still pirate movies in the theater, but it’s both harder and sometimes lower quality.

The easiest way to pirate a movie from the theater is to set up a camera and record it from inside the theater. I think these are called “screeners”. It can be done by the person who operates the projector, but also by someone who buys a ticket. Screeners have a lot of downsides:

* They’re lower resolution than a legitimate copy because they’re a recording of a recording, and often include things outside the screen.
* The audio is worse because most cameras don’t have high-quality microphones and aren’t capable of recording effects like surround sound.
* Theaters usually remove people caught making screeners.
* Theaters care about this because if it’s known they’re friendly to pirates, the companies that distribute films might stop distributing to them.

Another way is to get a “direct feed”. This has to be done by the projectionist or someone else with access to the projector. This involves connecting something to the projector that makes a copy of the movie while it plays or somehow gets a copy of the movie off the digital “film”. These are obviously much higher quality, but the people who make them risk losing their jobs and being charged with a crime.

There are probably other ways, but those are the two most obvious ones, and both have pretty good reasons why nobody’s done that yet for the Evangelion film.