For many people who can't afford cable television, websites like Project Free TV are where they would head to if they were okay with illegally downloading their TV content. However, Project Free TV dropped out of the internet recently, leaving behind absolutely nothing but the solitary word "Goodbye" on their home page.
Torrent Freak first reported that Project Free TV was down, with LifeHacker claiming the site went down sometime on July 24, 2015. As yet no statement has been issued from Project Free TV but it is assumed the site has disappeared due to mounting concerns with regard to DCMA notices and copyright infringements.
Ever since the advent of torrents on the internet, sites such as Project Free TV have been the bane of TV and movie networks. People who would normally have to wait until programs became available on free to air TV could now download their content within hours of it airing. Alternatively, they could watch it as it was airing on (quite often illegal) streaming sites. As a result of this, many sites such as Limewire, The Pirate Bay, and now Project Free TV have faced law suits, fines, and pressure from the networks to remove their websites along with the illegal content.
In Australia, recently passed laws will enable the government to block access to sites such as Project Free TV. However, that is only slowing down people viewing movies and TV shows illegally as they search for new sites to download or view their content from. Many people within Australia cite the main reason they illegally download content is due to the exorbitant cost and time delays associated with cable and free to air content provided to the viewing audience there. So, if that is the case, it is unlikely that the removal of sites such as Project Free TV will slow down the consumption of illegally viewed content so long as cable companies and networks keep to their current schedule. Andrew Maiden, the chief executive of CEO of ASTRA, the peak body representing Australian subscription television tends to agree after a report into why so many Australians illegally consume TV shows and movies on the internet was conducted recently.
"The report identifies price and timeliness as key factors in piracy, so we are hopeful the measures recently taken by the television industry to make content cheaper and faster will reduce theft."Now that Project Free TV has been removed from the internet, it is likely that viewers will just find an alternate way to view their content rather than pay for subscription TV.
[Image credit: Screen capture via Complex]