Pirates may have found a way to rip movies from Netflix and Amazon. Not just any content, but high-quality 4K resolution movies and television shows -- with about four times as many pixels as 1080p.
According to Torrentfreak, links to 4K copies of shows from Netflix, such as the original Marvel series “Jessica Jones” began popping up on torrent websites over the past week. Amazon content that has appeared on torrent websites included titles such as “Patriot” and “The Man in The High Castle.”
Up until recently, pirates were unable to rip high quality copies on streaming websites such as Netflix and Amazon due to a technology called High-Bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP), which prevents the streaming video from being copied. But since there have been high-quality copies of original content from both streaming websites floating around, pirates may have found a way around the protection.
Don’t expect to easily download full seasons of shows in 4K if you don’t have enough hard disk space to cough up. Many of the torrents come in anywhere between 10 and 15 gigabytes per episode. And the original files can be as large as 100 gigabytes.
The amount of 4K content leaking onto the web is growing, but this isn't the first time it's happened for Netflix. That title belongs to “Breaking Bad,” which became the first piece of 4K content from Netflix to leak onto the web via torrent websites back in August, according to the Verge. At the time Netflix said it was investigating the leak but didn’t disclose whether or not the 4K copy was real.
While it isn’t known how the copy protection was bypassed, one possible culprit could be Amazon’s Fire TV stick and the Roku 4K set-top box, which uses an older version of HDCP, according to unnamed sources speaking to Torrentfreak. For now 4K content remains relatively scarce in comparison to the plethora of 1080p videos on Blu-Ray and streaming services. But with sub-$1000 4K televisions entering the market, it’s only a matter of time before the format becomes commonplace.