The rise of video streaming sites has defeated movie studios' toughest anti-piracy efforts, the New York Times reports. Consumers can watch copyrighted material online—often from sites hosted in countries with slack anti-piracy rules—more easily than ever. The industry estimates "digital theft" now accounts for 40% of all its lost revenue.
Watching illegally streamed videos online is becoming much more prevalent and is bound to increase as the economy slumps, warn studio execs. Lawsuits have been launched against sites that link to pirated material, but the entertainment industry is also attempting to buck the theft trend by working to make more material available online through their own sites. "That’s how you start to marginalize piracy," one analyst said.