HOW MUCH HAS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY
LEARNED ABOUT PIRACY from the
music industry? Not much I fear.
The Industry Trust for IP Awareness – an
alliance of 22 film and TV companies – is
spending £3 million over the next 12 months on a
“bold new approach”with TV and cinema
adverts that will try to make people who buy
pirate videos – and download illegal copies from
the Internet – “feel shabby”.
Says Johnny Fewings, Joint Managing
Director of Universal Pictures,“We are not
talking about ‘piracy’now.We want to make
people feel grubby and talk about ‘knock-offs’.
We are shaping behaviour. It’s been done
before.With drinking and driving, not smoking
at football matches and picking up dog mess.”
Matt Brown,Executive Vice President of Sony
Pictures Europe adds “30% of the population is
involved in some form of piracy. We want to get
the message across that it’s not good to be part
of a shabby business”.
And Liz Bales,new Director General of the
Industry Trust notes the change in direction too.
“Last year 2006 was a watershed year”she
says.“There is a shift to digital piracy online.
Broadband speeds are increasing and there is
more computer literacy.The biggest barrier to
copyright theft is currently lack of knowledge.We
want to make right behaviour more aspirational
than wrong behaviour”.
But has the Trust worked with the music
industry to learn from its mistakes and its
successes with high profile legal actions? Has it
talked about DRM issues?
“We have spoken to the BPI.FACT has worked
with the BPI.But we feel there are differences.Video
is not as easy to download.It’s a different business
model.Most pirate videos are camcorder quality.”
It may well be possible to shame some of
the people who currently think it is as OK to buy
pirate DVDs as it is to fiddle expenses, nick office
stationery and pay cash to avoid tax. But as
piracy shifts to online theft, it will be a lot harder
to make people feel shabby in the privacy of
their own homes.
Technology is not going to stop them either.
Not only does music DRM get in the way of