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Netflix Deals Another Blow To Piracy With Mobile Video Downloads

Strike another reason to pirate TV shows off your list. Netflix now offers local download options for mobile device users, which means you can watch your favorite shows and movies anywhere without having to worry about chewing up expensive mobile data or maintaining a stable internet connection.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu go a long way in convincing people who pirate TV and movies not to bother. When you have access to a robust library of unlimited, affordable, on-demand content, there’s not much incentive to steal.

One of the only advantages to pirated content is its ability to access it locally, without the need for an internet connection right then and there. Streaming services require a solid network connection to watch videos, which limits where and when you can access content. You may want to watch a movie at the cabin or catch a TV show on a plane, but unless you have a locally saved file, you'll probably be tough out of luck.

Netflix said its costumers often say that they want to continue binge watching their favorite content when they’re on the go, but mobile internet is expensive. So the company took the bold move of addressing that issue by enabling local downloads of its video library for mobile users.

Netflix rolled out the downloads feature on November 30 to all subscription levels. If you have a Netflix account, you can download and store copies of Netflix content onto Android and iOS devices. The download service is not available for the desktop client. (We suspect this limitation is a countermeasure to curb the illegal distribution of the service's videos.)

The download feature isn’t available for everything in Netflix’s large catalog, but the selection is by no means sparse. You can already find dozens of TV shows, movies, and documentaries in the “Available for Download” section, and Netflix said it has “more on the way.”

The Netflix local download feature is live now. Simply download or update the mobile app to gain access to the new feature. Why would you pirate when great content is this accessible?

  • targetdrone
    I give it a week until someone hacks it to convert the downloads into mkv/mp4 files.
    Reply
  • TheSpiral01
    So, does this mean i can sign up for service, download 60gigs of shows on my iphone 128gig, then cancel the service till i watch the 60gigs, then renew again months later?
    Reply
  • targetdrone
    You need to log into the Netflix app to watch the downloaded videos.
    Reply
  • Jeff Fx
    >One of the only advantages to pirated content is its ability to access it locally

    Really? Not the higher quality, earlier release, downloaded shows not disappearing like Netflix shows, or the ability to stream and play files on a larger variety of devices?
    Reply
  • delaro
    Piracy will never stop until TV content can be found for free. More and more people are getting tired of paying $80+ dollars for 300 Channels of crap they don't want, when they can simply just Download what they do in a small format without commercials. HBO and Game of Thrones/Westworld is a prime example, $15 a month just to watch two shows and nothing but repeat content the rest of the month.
    Reply
  • targetdrone
    18940579 said:
    Piracy will never stop until TV content can be found for free. More and more people are getting tired of paying $80+ dollars for 300 Channels of crap they don't want, when they can simply just Download what they do in a small format without commercials. HBO and Game of Thrones/Westworld is a prime example, $15 a month just to watch two shows and nothing but repeat content the rest of the month.

    Personally I don't have a problem paying $15/month to watch Game of Thrones for the 2 to 3 months its on. I do however have a problem with paying $80+/month to the cable company just to have access to pay $15/month to get HBO.

    HBO Now is a huge game changer.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Why would you pirate when great content is this accessible?

    Because it's still not free and, more importantly, locked to a particular platform/app. I want mp4/mkv files that I can copy to any of my devices as I please, back up, convert, and so on. Not what you want us to do, Netflix? Good thing you aren't our only option!
    Reply
  • Rheotome
    "One of the only advantages to pirated content is its ability to access it locally" HUH ??

    I always thought the primary advantage to pirates & pirated content is the fact that them there folks are NOT paying for it .
    Reply
  • surphninja
    It's locked to a particular platform and certain devices, with a lot of other limitations on how long the content is kept and how it can be used. This will be helpful for road trips with a tablet, but that's about it. This article seriously exaggerates the impact of this "bold move."
    Reply
  • Titillating
    The justification of "because it's free" for why piracy is acceptable is silly. This stuff doesn't get made without money. You don't want to pay for it and insist on pirating things? Great, you do you. But don't try to act like you're entitled to free content. The cost to access the content may be exorbitant in a lot of cases, but that doesn't make theft okay. You don't need this content to live. It is a luxury. Luxuries are paid for.
    Reply