According to the excellent Digital Lifestyles magazine the UK Film Council has launched today a 94-page report containing 30 measures the Council feels will help defeat the spread of unauthorised film copying in the UK. Compiled by the Anti-Piracy Taskforce convened by the UK Film Council it contains suggestions of short, medium and long-term actions aimed at the UK Government, the UK film industry and, what they call, "Government-backed and other film sector stakeholders". Started in Summer 2003, it has taken nearly 18 months to complete. The report is being forwarded to The Creative Industries Forum on Intellectual Property, which was launched by the UK Government in July this year. Headed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department of Trade and Industry and Patent Office, the group contains Ministers from eight Government Departments including the Treasury and Home Office.

Based on figures from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the report estimates the value of black market in pirate DVDs in the UK to be £400-£500 million in 2003 and they expected it to exceed £1 billion within three years, based on their retail price. The report lists the main sources of copied DVDs as Pakistan (36%), Malaysia (31%) and China (14%).

The IPKat admires the effort that has gone into this report, but doubts that the UK government will do nothing to stop the piracy (i.e. nothing that might lose it votes before next year's election). Merpel says, "hey, doesn't £500 million work out at nearly £10 per man, woman and child in the UK? Do we really spend that much on pirated CDs?"

Pirate films here and here
Terrible pirate jokes here, here and here
"FILM THEFT IN THE UK" "FILM THEFT IN THE UK" Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, December 13, 2004 Rating: 5


  1. That £500 million figure is based on the (presumably full) retail value of the works - so probably about £14 for a CD and £20+ for a DVD.
    I have absolutely no idea how much pirated CDs and DVDs from a market cost, but based on the UK Film Council's press release (at http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/news/?p=D4A157251d9d81FEA0yQk4392CC9&skip=0), which talks about a seizure of 250,000 pirated movies with a street value of £1.25 million, £5 per work (less for CDs) seems like a good number. The £500 million market then turns into a £125 million market (at most) - admittedly still a lot, but far less impressive.
    Also, and without reading the report I cannot tell for sure, their figures may well include unlicensed internet downloads (and internet downloads are certainly mentioned in the press release), in which case that £125 million figure probably translates to a *far* smaller amount actually spent on commercially pirated materials.

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