Movie piracy in the UK: what's the film industry doing?

Online piracy is rife but education may be the key

Living the stream dream

TechRadar's Reviews Editor James Rivington isn't convinced, though. He believes that the movie industry's worry about making sure digital files are packed with DRM and can't be copied has actually had a detrimental effect, pushing people to illegal downloading.

"The movie industry is so far behind the times it's laughable. Instead of shepherding people into pens and pushing closed services and formats it needs to look at the way people want to consume media and work out a way of providing that experience for a fee people are willing to pay," says Rivington, who believes the Netflix model is the one that will eventually succeed.

Article continues below

"I'd pay double or triple the Netflix subscription if it meant I got timely access to all the things I want to watch, with offline access, but sadly I think we're a long way from this becoming a reality," he notes.

Mark De Quervain from FindAnyFilm believes that services like the one he represents are essential to make sure that money goes back into the movie industry.

"It is not alright to pirate film even if you love film. Findanyfilm seeks to solve the problem that when you go on many websites where they have sold the film to you with a passionate review and then there isn't a link to download it.

"There isn't another service like this anywhere. If FindAnyFilm didn't exist then there would be a blackhole with them finding film in an official way."

Battle with technology

Lis Bales admits, though, that the Industry Trust is fighting a losing battle with technology when it comes to piracy so education may be the best fighting tactic going forward.

"We know the challenge to get Google to change its algorithm - the first thing that comes up when you search for a movie is a torrent.

"So we have to do things to alleviate the idea that you have to type things in to find a movie. If we do a better job of connecting content to people then it will help stop piracy."

One way the Industry Trust is doing this is with a short film called Vin Diesel's Socks. The short was commissioned by Film Nation UK, the organisation behind The National Youth Film Festival, in collaboration with The Industry Trust.

Vin Diesel's Socks will hopefully target the 11- to 12-year-old demographic, which is increasingly getting into piracy in a similar way that the 40-plus are: by tapping in titles to Google.

"The film brings to life the craft and hard work that goes into creating films and TV and has been created to point more young viewers to FindAnyFilm, as a gateway to films across all formats, all above board and all in one place," Bales explained.

But what about availability? As the info from shows, speeding up the move from cinema to online for movies may well be the key to stemming online piracy. Make it easier for movie lovers to get the films the want and then you will have a viable option to piracy.

TechRadar asked Fox this very questions and is said that although its DHD files are released weeks before Blu-ray discs, it had no plans to change its release schedule to go day and date with the cinema.

Peter Gerard from Distrify, an online film distribution site, was a little more optimistic (or should that be realistic?) though, saying that: "technology is driving the pacing and this will eventually lead to day and date cinema and download releases, as price and convenience do play a huge role in piracy."