Everybody knows that when you go to certain locations around the globe, such as any of the Asian countries, you are bound to be offered bootleg films on DVD that are still running in theatres. Sure, tons of people have bought them if only to say "I already have it on DVD," but I figured any real movie buff would still hit the theatres thanks to the lack of quality of most bootlegged material. What? You actually like the echo, the attendants passing in front of the camera and, sometimes, the clapping?
Well, the MPAA has recently dished out some money to see how bad piracy hurt the movie studios during 2005. I guess they figured that was a good year considering that file-sharing on the internet is as popular as ever and 2005 witnessed the infamous 'box office slump.'
How much was lost? Let's just say enough to make you understand why domestic bootleggers get in so much damn trouble.
Piracy Costs Studios Billions in 2005
According to THR, the MPAA's financed study through LEK Consulting returned a figure that was alarming. According to the report released late Tuesday, the estimated loss for major studios during 2005 was a whopping $6.1 billion. You know how much popcorn you have to sell to make that up!?
Internet piracy -- downloads and peer-to-peer file-sharing -- constitutes up to $2.3 billion in annual losses. Man! You know what we'd do if CanMag received even a smidgen, a scoche, a fraction of a fraction of that? The recent study was the first to take focus off of "hard-goods" and research the internet as well.
The study also points to Europe as a major source of the piracy. Of the $6.1 billion reported, $4.8 billion in losses occur international with nearly half of it coming from Europe.
LEK Consulting took three definitions of piracy -- illegal copying, bootlegging and the internet -- and separated the amount lost across them. Illegal copying accounted for $1.4 billion in losses, while bootlegging and the internet resulted in a loss of $2.4 and $2.3 billion respectively.
China, Russia, the U.K., France, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Poland and Mexico were the countries where piracy was more prevalent, the MPAA said.
The study also found that the average movie pirate is male, age 16-24, and lives in an urban area.
Whether the law-breakers have an eye patch or a wooden leg is yet to be known.
The MPAA is hoping that this latest report will become an advocacy tool to help convince governments around the world to step up the fight against piracy.
Stay tuned for updates.