Although the hack offers a reminder that even the best security
can be undone by the so-called “weakest link” — Netflix can’t
do much if a vendor is compromised — it provides a bigger
lesson in how the internet has largely shifted away from
torrenting. If a show lands on The Pirate Bay and nobody
watches, did it really stream?
Consider that in 2011, BitTorrent accounted for 23 percent of
daily internet traffic in North America, according to
network-equipment company Sandvine. By last year, that number sat
at under 5 percent. “There’s always going to be the floor of
people that are always going to be torrenting,” says Sandvine
spokesperson Dan Deeth. That group will surely enjoy whatever
Piper’s up to in season five. But the idea that so small a cohort
might prompt Netflix to negotiate with hackers seems absurd.
I agree with this: Netflix’s best defenses against piracy are the facts that the actual Netflix service is so affordable and so convenient to use. The same thing happened with the iTunes Music Store back in the day.