Watch out, Hollywood -- another threat to your profits appears to be setting sail and headed in your direction. A site called The Video Bay aims to make pirated TV shows and Hollywood movies available in hi-def quality for streaming through your Web browser -- no hefty downloads required. The site, reportedly in development by the people behind the controversial site The Pirate Bay, is aiming to compete with Hulu and YouTube. As far as I can tell, the new venture isn't bothering with any cumbersome legal issues such as copyrights and content licences.
The Video Bay is currently in an early pre-testing mode and when visited earlier today failed to play videos and audios seemingly available for streaming. From what I can tell The Video Bay is merely an experimental playground. No final launch date is set.
Given the legal battles The Pirate Bay has been through earlier this year, the future of The Video Bay doesn't look good. Back in April when the legal battle between Hollywood studios and The Pirate bay was unfolding, I was writing that sites like TPB are like weeds: when you try to kill one, they grow back even stronger. Despite $3.8 million in damages owed to Hollywood, The Video Bay could pose an even stronger alternative to peer-to-peer pirating that requires downloading content to your PC. The Video Bay, where users stream content through a browser, would lower the technical bar significantly for viewing pirated content. Pirates wouldn't have to mess with video formats, players, and converting ISO images to video files. But the big "if" here is whether The Video Bay can evolve past its current incarnation, which is about as functional as a car with square wheels.
While Hollywood is bracing themselves for The Video Bay, the people behind the site are publicly stating that The Video Bay is "subjected to both live and drunk (en)coding, so please don't bug us too much if the site ain't working properly."
Should Hollywood take this emerging threat seriously? You bet.