As part of an anti-piracy campaign in France, Netflix had actors from its hit show Narcos, which chronicles the cocaine trade in Colombia, threaten to shoot people who illegally download the show. In a YouTube video posted by Netflix France on September 5, and first spotted by TorrentFreak, four actors who play drug kingpins say violence is coming for those who torrent Narcos.
“Do you think we didn’t see you Googling ‘Narcos Season 3 Download?’ Do not be a fool, Narcos is a business,” Pêpê Rapazote, who plays drug lord Chepe Santacruz Londonõ, says at the beginning of the clip.
The video continues with Francisco Denis, who plays Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, referencing the French copyright law HADOPI, under which people who illegally download copyrighted files are given several warnings before receiving fines or other sanctions. “Do you think we’re like Hadopi? Do you think we’re going to send you a nice and polite letter first?” Denis says.
“There’s bullets for you, your family, and all the people you send to watch Narcos on all those shitty websites full of dubious pop-ups,” Damián Alcazár, who plays Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, adds at the end of the clip. A representative from Netflix’s global media relations team did not immediately return a request for comment.
The video is clearly meant to be a joke, but it highlights what is becoming an increasingly pressing problem for Netflix: piracy. Original content, like Narcos, has grown to be a major part of the streaming service’s business. Naturally, it wants to protect those shows and movies from illegal downloaders who haven’t paid for a subscription. Earlier this year, the company created a Global Copyright Protection Group, aimed at stopping people from obtaining content illegally.
Over the summer, Netflix also joined a coalition “dedicated to protecting the dynamic legal market for creative content and reducing online piracy,” called the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE). The move came a year after it cracked down on users who accessed the site through a proxy server or virtual private network (VPN), in an effort to protect content that wasn’t licensed for foreign markets.
There are signs, though, that Netflix doesn’t have much to worry about. Unlike events like the Mayweather-McGregor fight last month, which cost $100 to stream via Pay Per View, Netflix’s standard $9.99 monthly subscription in the US (rates are similar abroad) is relatively affordable. Their pricing model lowers the incentive to seek out its content illegally—it’s generally easier to fork over the 10 bucks than risk problems with an internet service provider by downloading a show via a torrent.
That didn’t stop Netflix from releasing a scary campaign to deter people even further, though.
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