Movies explore the edges of human emotion, freeze culture and show us how creative we can be. So why are people stealing this creativity? The lure to break copyright law to download movies illegally is alluring because advancements in technology create an umbrella of anonymity. These laws are inadequate because there is a lack of enforcement, advancing technology that makes movies a click away, and the aggravated state of reform. Within the following pages we’ll take a look at piracy issues for movies within the United States from the studio and consumer’s side. Technology is facilitating an acceptable bend in the law from the consumer’s perspective, and creating increased difficultly for the movie industry to adapt quickly. Movie piracy laws will remain a grey area for consumers and the industry until the struggle for reform is initiated. If not, we face a whole generation of children growing up thinking its right to illegally download movies. Eli Roth, director of Hostel, said in an MTV interview, “Unless you start an awareness about it that it’s not ok, it’s never going to change.”
Movie studios saw what happened to newspaper and music, and it’s reasonable they would want to fight for their content. They’ve tried to keep up with pirates by publishing harsh FBI warnings before movies, encrypting DVDs and punishing offenders. But pirates still continue to break down these barriers. Breaking DVD encryption is a game pirates play in an effort to validate a subculture of people. One goal of this paper is to find consumers perception of movie piracy and look at ways to help the industry align better to these perceptions.
What is movie piracy? “Downloading, burning or otherwise obtaining a movie you didn’t purchase.” Movie piracy is a big topic, one which most have likely dabbled in. If you’ve conducted a screening for your church group, or made a few backup copies of a DVD without the copyright owner’s permission, you’ve committed movie piracy. Stealing the physical print, burning a disc for sale, recording while in the theatre and downloading from the Internet, are other more severe forms of movie piracy. Internet movie piracy is by far the most prominent today.
Surprisingly, the US is falling behind in the piracy game, holding only 20% of the losses worldwide against major players like China and Russia. According to a 2008 study The Cost of Movie Piracy, China blames 90% of their potential film losses on piracy. Continue reading