Media piracy expert witnesses may opine on film, content theft, royalties, motion picture distribution, copyright for movies, and more. In Types of Content Theft, the Motion Picture Association of America writes:
PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) THEFT A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a system that enables Internet users through the exchange of digital files among individual computers or “peers” to (1) make files (including movies and music) stored on their computer available for copying by other users; (2) search for files stored on other users’ computers; and (3) transfer exact copies of files from one computer to another. P2P technology itself is not illegal and may be useful for many legal purposes, but people often use the technology to illegally exchange copyrighted material on the Internet. While people may believe their files are being exchanged among only a few “friends,” these files can be accessed by millions of people around the world who are part of the same P2P network.
If you download movies using illegal peer-to-peer sites, you are often also distributing illegal content, as the default setting of most P2P networks ensures that individuals downloading files from the network are simultaneously uploading files and thus distributing illegal copies of works to other peers in the group, who in turn distribute the files to yet others.
By uploading and downloading copyrighted material on P2P networks you are not only violating the law, you are also potentially exposing your computer and private information to strangers. By allowing strangers to access files on your computer, other sensitive information, such as bank records, social security numbers and pictures, could also become accessible and put you and your family at risk of identity theft or worse. This activity also exposes your computer to harmful viruses, spyware, and annoying pop-ups (adware).
Read more: mpaa.org.