We are in what many consider to be the golden age of television and movies - the global box office and viewership is up and reviews are generally good for most shows. However, online piracy threatens the very mantle that we have planed our shows and movie on in 2015.
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On Sunday, tracker sites TorrentFreak and Excipio released data that revealed which television series and films were the most popular for piracy in 2015.
"Game of Thrones" was named as 2015's most pirated TV show with an estimated 14.4 million people downloading season five's finale episode, entitled "Mother's Mercy" via BitTorrent, almost double the estimated amount of its U.S. TV viewers.
"Game of Thrones" has won that title for four years running now, with even more people downloading the show than ever. Over half of those downloads occurred within a week following the show's finale - likely to avoid spoilers.
"The Walking Dead" and the always popular "The Big Bang Theory" came in second and third for piracy — just like they did in 2014 — with their most popular episodes. Some newcomers, like "Mr. Robot" and "Supergirl," made an entrance into the Top 10, having both aired their debut series in 2015.
"The results show that TV shows remain very popular among pirates all around the world," Ernesto Van der Sar, TorrentFreak's founder and editor-in-chief, said. "Game of Thrones in particular has a large following, which may in part be due to the fact that people are not willing (or can't) pay for a subscription," he explained.
This is, of course, just the number that they could track. Online streaming and downloads for other file-hosting services weren't included, which means that the total piracy numbers would be "signifficantly higher" than the ones announced here.
Pirated Films of 2015
The three most popular films for piracy all raked in over $1 billion worldwide; Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Jurassic World.
Christopher Nolan's 2014 sci-fi epic "Interstellar" was named as 2015's most pirated film, with over 46.7 million downloads.
Overall, it was the movies that performed well that were on the list, not those that faltered at the box office.
According to Variety, the amount of illegal piracy is only on the rise - last year's most pirated movie wouldn't even make the list this year.