People are Watching Pirated Films Like ‘Barbie’ on TikTok

Pirated movies and television shows are reportedly being uploaded straight to TikTok in a sequence of short clips.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, TikTok users are uploading pirated films to the platform in a series of clips between two and 10 minutes long.

Various TikTok accounts are posting episodes of television shows and full-length films in short clips that users can then watch in a long continuous sequence.

Watching Movies in Bite-Sized Clips on TikTok

The Wall Street Journal reports that if a TikTok user inputs the search term “Barbie” into the video app, they will likely be shown various fan videos on the movie.

However, following this search, TikTok’s algorithm may then promote a 90-second clip of the pirated movie on a user’s For You page, with an elusive video title such as “Part 8.”

If a TikTok user watches a few of these bite-sized clips from the pirated Barbie movie, then other pirated film clips may also surface in their For You page.

According to the publication, TikTok accounts sharing this pirated content can amass hundreds of thousands of followers, comments, likes, and views. However, these accounts do not seem to be generating any revenue from the clips, as there are no sponsored posts or other paid promotion on the videos.

The clips of these pirated movies can be as long as 10 minutes. But some clips are just two to three minutes long.

Pirated TikTok Videos are Hard to Police

TikTok says that it prohibits the posting of content that violates intellectual property rights and gives copyright holders a way to report violations. However, the way that these films are uploaded onto TikTok will make it difficult to police them effectively.

TikTok users often divide the pirated clips of a single movie and combine them in with other video content to avoid detection by movie studios, production companies, or individual creators. Furthermore, TikTok accounts do not necessarily always finish uploading the entire movie or television show on their account.

Anupam Chander — who is professor of law and technology at Georgetown Law — suggested that some entertainment companies might decide not to complain about pirated clips posted online because TikTok could help promote that particular movie or television show.

“It can be useful for the copyright holders to see their work being distributed to a larger audience to build more interest in that work for subsequent sales,” Chander tells The Wall Street Journal.

Image credits: Feature photo licensed via Depositphotos.