Movie piracy up 30%

Picture of some pirate DVDsThe UK is pirating more and more films by downloading off the Internet - figures are up 30% over the last five years according to the latest figures.
The number comes from consultancy firm Envisional, which goes on to say that between them last year's top five box office movies were downloaded illegally 1.4m times.

The movie industry has told a BBC report that the lost revenue is around £170m and that this puts thousands of jobs at risk.

Reality check

This would be true if not for one thing: not everyone who downloads a pirated film would otherwise go and see it at the cinema. If this is true - and it's only my personal belief rather than a solid, researched fact - then the £170m loss is a bogus figure.

It's much likelier that a fraction of that number is in fact going west. What this does to the job estimates is anybody's guess but even then, at this stage it looks very much as though they are theoretical rather than actual losses.

TV show downloads are also up 33% during the same period - presumably this reflects the availability of the technology rather than a sudden wave of criminal intent.

It's certainly illegal and the industry has the right to try to clamp down on it. Reading huge financial loss, however, when many people would probably wait until a film's on telly rather than go and see it in the cinema, is a spurious argument which doesn't do the actual cause any favours.
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