Netflix Expedites Original Content Download Process

A new blog post by a Netflix senior executive says the streaming service is making it easier to watch downloaded content.

Keela Robison, VP of product innovation at Netflix, writes that the move is in reaction to increased data demands by subscribers and “unreliable” WiFi.

“You can now start watching The Mitchells vs The Machines or the next episode of ‘Luis Miguel — The Series’ even if it hasn’t completed downloading,” Robison wrote. “Once you’ve regained a strong enough connection, you can choose to finish the download and keep watching — avoiding those surprise notices that you’ve gone over your data limits. We want to make it easier for members to access their favorite series or movies regardless of language, device, connectivity or location.”

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Netflix was one of the first SVOD platforms enabling subscribers to download select content for offline access on airplanes, in the car and other situations.

Partial downloading is now available on Android phones and tablets, and will soon begin testing on iOS in the coming months.

MPA Secures Ireland Court Ruling Blocking Piracy Websites

The Motion Picture Association, the international arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, has secured a High Court injunction in Ireland enabling Internet service providers to block websites streaming pirated movies and TV shows.

Commercial Court Judge Brian McGovern Jan. 15 ruled there was “significant public interest” under the 2000 Copyright and Related Act granting the orders against ISPs Eircom, Sky Ireland, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications and Magnet Networks.

The ISPs did not contest the ruling.

The MPA, which represents Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios and Lionsgate, among others, alleges upwards of 1.5 million people in Ireland could be illegally downloading/streaming copyrighted content.

Infringing websites included gowatchfreemovies.to, EXTV.ag, 123movieshub.to and Rarbg.to.

The MPA reportedly found that the eight websites targeted had generated more than 6 million visits last October. Several of the sites have also been blocked in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Austria and Norway.

Stan McCoy, president and managing director of MPA EMEA, said the court ruling would safeguard consumers against pirated content, in addition to helping more than 18,000 people employed by the Irish film industry.

“As the Irish film industry is continuing to thrive, the MPA is dedicated to supporting that growth by combatting the operations of illegal sites that undermine the sustainability of the sector,” McCoy said in a statement.