Peer to Peer Piracy and the Film Industry Essays

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Peer to Peer Piracy and the Film Industry


Each day an estimated 400,000 films exchange hands through the Internet. Movie piracy, once reserved to pirate syndicates and illegal duplication factories, has become a common staple among college students with high-speed internet access. With advanced compression technology, movie files can be transferred across continents in hours and across campus networks in under ten minutes. File-sharing is seen as a victimless crime, but the motion picture industry is expected to lose $3.5 billion this year alone due to piracy. Pirate activities undermine every aspect of the legitimate filmmaking business since legitimate retailers cannot possibly compete fairly with pirate business. Therefore, piracy negatively affects all aspects of film-making including the studios that invest in the film, the distributors, the retailers and foreign and local filmmakers.

Economic Impact

Intellectual property (TV programs, movies, etc…) is an incredible source of growth for the American economy. Intellectual property is not only America’s largest trade export, but it is creating new jobs at triple the rate of the rest of the economy, and is responsible for more than five percent of the GDP. The movie industry alone has a surplus balance of trade, something no other American company can lay claim to.

Moviemaking is a risky business, for it is not always profitable. Only one in ten films ever recovers its initial investment from theatrical exhibition. In fact, four out of ten movies never recoup the original investment. In 2000, the average studio film cost had a total cost of over $80 million per film. No other industry in the world risks that much capital to make, finance, produce ...

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...ue entertainment in a lawful environment.

The attitude of entitlement that many internet users exhibit with regard to internet piracy must stop. The movie industry will not suffer the pillaging that has been inflicted on the music industry by casual pirates. New efforts to prevent piracy are currently being undertaken and they include research to new technologies to prevent piracy and copying, strengthening laws to inflict harsher penalties for copyright infringement, and educating the public about why copyright protection is imperative to economic growth and the negative effects that file-sharing has on the American consumer.

Works Cited

Valenti, Jack. Thoughts on the Digital Future of Movies, The Threat of Piracy, The Hope of Redemption. Motion Picture Association of American Press Release. 30 Sep. 2003 <>

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