A Google Chrome bug has been discovered which could be yet another headache for Hollywood. Downloading movies and TV shows without paying for them is illegal, costing billions every year in an industry that is constantly spending more to bring us the most impressive entertainment possible.
Some films are been known to have won Academy Awards and yet barely earned what the producers put into them due to internet pirates. Box office sales account for a fraction of the film’s full potential because crooked moviegoers keep finding ways to see it for free.
In some cases, pirates feel justified because movies aren’t as good as they once were. Yes, they’re more visually amazing, but often enough it’s something you’ve seen before or it’s riddled with humor you’re tired of. This is a perpetuating problem because the movies we want to see aren’t earning as much as the ones we don’t. Box office is what often determines what films we see in the future, and if a great film barely earns anything, it tells the producers that we don’t want films like them anymore.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) June 24, 2016
Money talks, and pirates are ruining it for everyone else. Two researchers, David Livshits from Ben-Gurion University and Alexandra Mikityuk of Telekom Innovation Laboratories, have found a Google Chrome bug that could be used by pirates, and they have told Google about it. Sadly, the company hasn’t patched the vulnerability yet, so illegal copies of The Walking Dead and Good Will Hunting may already be making their rounds on illegal hosting sites.
— Ron – Web Coder (@Im_TwitLess) June 24, 2016
The Google Chrome bug could be just as much a boon on DVD and Blu-ray sales as those guys who always manage to get a video camera into a movie theater. They film the movie and then upload it to torrent sites for people who aren’t so picky about the quality of the video and audio and don’t want to pay the theater to see the legal equivalent. Of course, Netflix and Amazon Prime don’t always have the latest movies. Often enough, you can buy a DVD before you even see the latest movies on the subscription streaming sites.
It is recommended that you buy the DVD or Blu-ray from a retailer anyway since streaming isn’t always reliable. You never know when your internet will suddenly cut off or Netflix will experience an outage lasting hours. Plus, if your bandwidth isn’t up to par, you’ll end up seeing a pixelated image you never get with a DVD or Blu-ray.
The Google Chrome bug is based on the Widevine EME/CDM technology used to allow encrypted streaming. Livshits and Mikityuk used a CDM decrypter to save streaming movies and TV shows to the hard drive, and on May 24, they revealed this vulnerability to Google. They are waiting 90 days, which is the amount of time the Project Zero security analyst team gives its vendors to fix issues before revealing detailed information to the public.
Wired pointed out that even if Google does patch the Chrome bug, the open-source software the browser is based on could potentially still be hacked. All the hacker would need to do is create a new browser based on Chromium and exploit the vulnerability.
Remember, before you decide to test out the Google Chrome bug yourself, illegal downloading is a federal crime punishable by years in prison and a severe fine. Do the right thing and just pay for what you watch.
[Image via tanuha2001/Shutterstock.com]