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Let's talk the risks of digital piracy with Internet Matters - £300 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(232 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Apr-18 10:25:26

When you can’t access the TV shows or films you’d like to watch it can be tempting to illegally stream them online - but doing so could introduce your family to a dark corner of the web involving viruses, disturbing pop-ups and unexpected pornographic content. Though Digital online piracy is often recognised through dodgy websites and Kodi boxes, it can also occur through any number of apps on mobiles or tablets. Internet Matters would like to hear your thoughts on digital piracy and the associated risks for your children, and how you would speak to your children about digital piracy.

Here’s what Carolyn Bunting, CEO of Internet Matters has to say: “We’re concerned that millions of parents don’t realise the amount of inappropriate, even pornographic, content children can find or stumble upon unexpectedly when watching TV and video content that is streamed illegally online. This issue has been growing for some time and we want to try and address the problem and highlight the risks parents are unknowingly taking when their children use open source media players, like Kodi boxes, to stream content illegally.”

Perhaps you’re completely in the dark about digital piracy? Perhaps you think the risks are worth it? Are you concerned about your child accidentally or even intentionally accessing illegal or even inappropriate content while watching cartoons, kids shows and films through open source media players? We’re interested in getting your thoughts about digital piracy and any tips you have for other parents speaking to their children about it so that they understand the risks.

All who post below will be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


Standard Insight T&Cs apply

sheddooropen Mon 23-Apr-18 14:02:44

I think there should be education in schools about the risks of watching pirated movies and the ethics involved. There doesn't seem to be much teaching about it and educating kids early on saying that piracy could lead to severe computer damage etc could help stop this later on

Coveredinbeeeeeeeeeeeees Mon 23-Apr-18 15:27:17

I'm gonna go against the grain here and suggest if we're ever going to tackle piracy then the rights restrictions need looking at. It's absolutely ridiculous that in the UK you can't easily access some American programming legally or at least reasonably priced. If the shows kids want to watch are popular and they can't access them in a legal way then can we really blame them for wanting to access them illegally when there's no other alternative? Now I'm not saying they should, but I can understand why it's attractive to them. I agree more education is required to explain to kids what the dangers are.

I find it infuriating that there are programmes I can't watch just because they're made in America and the UK don't have the rights - eg HBO and NBC have their own streaming subscription platforms that can't be accessed in the UK.

Tinlegs Mon 23-Apr-18 15:51:45

I know my teenagers know ways of watching things that are not yet in the cinema or not yet on television - they have told me. We have discussed piracy and what it means. However, with huge Hollywood salaries and 4 in a family costing £35+ to see a film, I can see why they are tempted.

They are educated at school but there are so many dangers on the internet, it would be much better if there were more restrictions on films being uploaded in the first place. Oscar hopefuls are, apparently, easy to come by: members of the Academy put them online.

I think they are aware of the dangers, though. I am too. Ever since our school computers got virtually shut down by someone googling "chest of drawer" about 15 years ago, we are all aware of how dodgy search terms and going into the internet's dark corners can bring viruses and pop ups.

But, better regulation of what is out there - all of these websites are being hosted somewhere. If ordinary teenagers with no especial computer knowledge can watch the latest Oscar winners, then it is really not just down to parents to deal with this. I would be much more concerned if my children were younger but then, when they were, they did not have their own devices that they could use in their rooms They are now 16 and nearly 18.

Gammeldragz Mon 23-Apr-18 17:02:10

My children wouldn't know where to find pirate stuff or feel the need to, they use YouTube or Netflix. However, my sister sometimes shows them pirate movies when she visits, I haven't explained that it's illegal as they are a bit young.
I do worry about pop ups and unsuitable content with some games they access on the Internet though, so I'm quite strict with those.

Sierra259 Mon 23-Apr-18 20:06:42

Sadly I think piracy is going to become more common as more and more TV companies start their own streaming services (Disney etc) and charging for the exclusive access to their content. People simply won't want to/be able to afford multiple subscriptions and will therefore be more likely to try to access stuff illegally.

My eldest is in Reception and she's already had one online safety talk at school and there's a whole week of activities planned around that area next week. We're lucky as my DH is very tech-savvy and online safety is part of his remit at work. However I, and I'm sure many other parents would be a lot more clueless, so talks at the school for us, or resources/tutorials online would be great. We have pop ups blocked on the tablet and tend to watch films/TV On Demand or Netflix rather than off the internet.

OutComeTheWolves Mon 23-Apr-18 20:34:14

I think piracy is far too mainstream to tackle now. Everyone I know does it to some degree so there's no going back now.

I'm not really sure what that means for my kids. I suppose, now that companies are working with the internet and providing streaming services, it's just about making sure they know about the ethics of the situation.

I'm not that bothered about films but I'm a huge music fan and in my lifetime, I've seen how much streaming & piracy has changed how people access music beyond recognition.

grannybiker Mon 23-Apr-18 21:15:59

I think piracy has always been around - some of us well remember recording the top ten from the radio and hoping the DJ didn't start yapping before the end.
Both my children are older, so know about and understand piracy, but they didn't learn it in school where internet safety as sadly lacking.

Sleepysausage Mon 23-Apr-18 21:23:47

I think its important to encourage children to be open and honest. I know my child will eventually see something inappropriate online and I want her to be able to ask questions and talk to me about it. It's a very careful balance of explaining how dangerous the internet can be and allowing children to explore in a safe way.

RamsayBoltonsConscience Mon 23-Apr-18 21:33:29

There are not enough hours in the day for teachers to teach every aspect of life. How about parents take responsibility for teaching their children about stealing (which is what this is) and set a good example by not illegally streaming video. We teach children about e-safety but the amount of time a child spends in school compared to home is a small fraction. I often talk to my class about a film that I'm looking forward to seeing and have a child tell me they've already seen it because their parents 'found' it online.

Onedaylikethi5 Mon 23-Apr-18 22:09:57

I'm 30 and nothing in the intro to this post meant anything to me at all. That probably highlights that the message isn't getting out there. I wouldn't even know where to start.

MrsFrTedCrilly Mon 23-Apr-18 22:14:36

My kids do a lot of online safety at school and even though still in primary are aware of illegality with regard to online videos and tv shows. I’m sure they’ll probably be tempted as teens though. Personally I wouldn’t take the risk of inappropriate content and the knowledge that this kind of illegality (piracy) is generally linked to organised crime puts me off too.

RomaineCalm Mon 23-Apr-18 22:58:35

Given that I read the title of the thread as 'digital privacy' and then couldn't understand half of the next two paragraphs I would say I still have a lot to learn. confused

Trying to keep the kids safe on line does feel like a constant moving goalpost. Just when you think you have read up on something and 'got it' along comes the next big risk.

I wish there was an online course that I could sign up to that sent me a new (easy to understand) module every month to keep me up to date. Something aimed at parents that thought they were reasonably intelligent but are now swamped in information and guidelines.

Didiusfalco Mon 23-Apr-18 23:04:58

I think my child’s school is very good on internet safety. To be honest with regards to this I am more concerned about other areas of the internet than digital piracy. It may be the age of my child (juniors) but I’m more worried about him being groomed via some form of social media. I may be naive to think he wouldn’t know how to access pirated content - I’ll have to ask him tomorrow.

wontbedoingthat Tue 24-Apr-18 00:44:12

I am not convinced that schools deliver the most appropriate information regarding the internet, safety, or anything phone/tablet/computer/IT related at all really. I have told my children myself what it means to stream/download content illegally. But, I have also shown them how to do it, where to go and what they should look out for, be aware of and not do. They can ask me if they see something they're not sure about and I'll help them. That said, It's not a free for all and I don't want them to think they can just have what they want, on tap. They are definitely not allowed to do as they please and I ask that they run new things by me first. Some things are harder to find and I don't allow them to use certain sites.
Ultimately they want to watch stuff that isn't on uk tv and they'll likely find a way. I'm not having them risk my household computers because they don't know what they're doing!

Dixiestampsagain Tue 24-Apr-18 03:00:25

I’ve nevwr thought to discuss digital piracy with my dc. I like to think they’ll take the stance that it’s morally wrong, and I’ll encourage them to ensure they are watching/listening legally. I know plenty of people who stream things illegally, and can imagine many children are growing up thinking this is commonplace and absolutely fine.
I do worry about what my children may ‘happen’ across accidentally on the internet, even though we have filters, parental controls etc.

silver2011 Tue 24-Apr-18 06:49:30

I would not know where to Start. I do tell my two children who are 17 and 22 that they're are a lot of risks involved if you download illegal piracy and it is like stealing. I never knew it was so easy to do so I thought you had to be really good with computers. Parents should be given tutorials to watch . Also schools could do more . We learn one thing then there's another thing like a previous poster has said . Also would like to say if films in America could be watched in the uk in a legal way would maybe help the situation.

Bellroyd Tue 24-Apr-18 06:57:28

Until they are old enough to understand the dangers, limit their streaming rights and monitor closely.

beanlucy21 Tue 24-Apr-18 06:59:49

my little girl is to young at the moment but when she is old enough to know I will explain to her why we shouldn't do it.

MissTeri Tue 24-Apr-18 07:04:11

I think piracy online is one crime which many people feel is acceptable but I disagree completely. I think there's more than enough to watch on regular TV/Freeview/Demand etc that we really shouldn't be feeling the need to commit a crime to watch what we want regardless of if that means breaking the law.

My son is only 7 yrs old and I have spoken to him about internet safety, in fact when my brother recently met a girl online my son was most concerned that he might be being catfished! grin Whilst I've explained not to give any identifying information, that comments you make online can be there forever and that people aren't always who they say they are, we haven't discussed piracy yet.

My son is only allowed on computers whilst in the same room as I am which makes me feel he's 'safe' but I do understand that all it takes is for me to be distracted with a phone call and he could encounter something unsavoury! We have good parental controls and I bookmark websites he's allowed to go on - if he goes on anything other than those then he knows it's an instant internet ban for a week.

One of my major problems has been the discussions of what other children have viewed online! It's frustrating because I feel I can only protect my son so far but if others aren't protecting what their children watch and they are then discussing what they've seen with my son it can still have a negative impact.

JellySlice Tue 24-Apr-18 07:18:00

My dc are far more computer literate than I am. Their schools regularly address internet safety, but I'm not sure how much of an impression this makes as they get older, given how arrogant and rebellious teens can be.

My particular concern is their lack of emotional maturity combined with this...and how they therefore don't really recognise the difference between virtual and real life.

Spices001 Tue 24-Apr-18 07:19:50

We’ve talked about piracy at home & my daughter knows not to watch anything she shouldn’t be
Better education in schools would certainly be beneficial

sarat1 Tue 24-Apr-18 08:04:42

At the school I teach at, we use the Internet Matters site once a term with the children and encourage them to visit at home via link in our intranet. As a new parent, I will be sharing with my child as he grows up and establish that there is an element of trust when I leave him using the computer and he needs to come to me if anything disturbs/worries/upsets him.

Lisapaige24 Tue 24-Apr-18 08:20:13

I have to admit we have watched films and tv show from let’s just say not strictly legal websites but we no longer do this due to the fact that are Laptop picked up so many viruses that it no longer works and I felt the enjoyment of watching a film on a pirate site took the enjoyment out of the film for us as it’s always Has poor sound and picture quality so we make a point of going the cinema now to watch films we want to see on the 2 for 1 , I don’t think if the schools were to address the issue with piracy children would take any notice I think it’s us as parents that have to monitor are own children and educate them about piracy and the safety of the internet my children know not to do this anymore as we have learned are lesson I do think that more shows and films should be accessible to people for a reasonable price then there wouldn’t be so many piracy stations

AR2012 Tue 24-Apr-18 08:26:35

An honest and frank discussion on why it's morally wrong and potentially illegal to do so. Awareness classes in school would also help.

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