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Movie Pirating and the Fight against Streaming
Unfair competition is one of the greatest challenges for a lot of industries these days. Especially for the entertainment industry taken in the broader sense of the word. Licenced online casino operators, which have obtained all necessary documents and are working within the legal framework, have to compete with unregulated casino, which often managed to achieve greater profits, at the expense of players’ safety. It is important to always check the credentials of a casino in question before you start playing. There are many certified casinos at which you can play instantly without any worries. Similarly, people in the film industry face the problem of pirating and free movie streaming. It is completely unfair, as actors, producers and companies involved in the film making process don’t receive any compensation from copies that are illegally distributed and streamed online.
It Is Illegal!
Films, series and other recorded programmes which can be broadcasted on TV or watched in cinemas are intellectual property. In the strict sense of the word, creating or distributing a non-licenced, illegal copy of any material that is protected by a trademark and is intellectual property is robbery. Many people don’t perceive it as such and keep watching pirated copies for free. This is illegal everywhere in the world, but there are countries where these laws aren’t properly enforced. Statistics show that the movie industry is losing billions as a result of that. This is an enormous amount of money and something has to be done about this. Even in developed countries like the UK, about a third of the population is watching films illegally online or is buying cheap counterfeited copies.
There’s a Lot of Piracy in the World
The amounts that the industry is losing are staggering. Back in 2005, the movie industry, taken internationally, lost an amazing $18bn due to piracy. While ten years ago, most of the losses were accounted to hard good piracy (DVD copies, for example), nowadays most of it is internet piracy. Illegal copies can either downloaded from the internet, or watched online for free, via streaming websites on which the movies have been uploaded. As it was mentioned piracy is present in developed countries, but in countries such as China and Russia it is even more prevalent. In some cases the losses for the industry in these countries exceed 75%, or even 80%.
Nigeria faced a similar problem, especially in the last few years after the launch of Project Nollywood. There are methods that have proved to be at least somewhat useful in the struggle against piracy and those methods should be employed in Nigeria and elsewhere.
The Legal Pressure Is Just One Aspect
It has to be mentioned that a lot of the methods used previously weren’t very successful. Governments, and especially police and law enforcements departments spent a lot of time, effort and resources on tracking down people who watch pirated movies. Is that really worth the effort? The problem isn’t the poor university student who is watching his favourite series online. Of course, governments should keep investing in the fight against piracy and even take legal action against entities that organise piracy on a large scale. Websites and improvised shops that sell pirated films should be closed down and those in charge should be held responsible, but a more subtle approach is also required, an approach that’ll make consumers realise that piracy is bad, but more importantly, that it even isn’t that beneficial financially.
People Should Be Encouraged Not to Watch Films Illegally
Cable companies have already introduced premium packages and pay-per-view services which allow people to watch their favourite shows and films, legally at a reasonable price. Governments should provide incentive for providers and encourage them to do this more often. Websites like Netflix pay a crucial role in the fight against piracy. Paying a small amount of money is often a lot better, then downloading a film for free only to realise that it is synchronised in Spanish or that the audio file is missing. The packages offered by such providers aren’t very expensive and even poorer people can afford them. Moreover, the use of such services should be subsidised, because it is one of the ways to ensure that movie makers, actors, producers, studios and everybody involved will get their fair share.
It Can Be Done!
To sum things up, it is possible to fight against piracy successfully. Of course, piracy will probably never be fully eliminated, but its influence can be decreased. A variety of methods should be used. Pirate websites should be closed down and counterfeit goods confiscated, but more importantly, people should be stimulated to purchase the original, legal versions of movies. Young people should be taught that illegal streaming is both morally and legally wrong and financial incentive should be provided, when necessary, in order to encourage more people to stop streaming illegally. Piracy can be destroyed if people no longer have financial motives to watch pirated films.