The US film industry is launching an advertising campaign to educate people about the effects of movie piracy.
Hollywood fears the growth of online piracy
The adverts on US television and in cinemas feature makeup
artists, set painters and other crafts people who explain that
piracy deprives them of a living.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has also
developed a curriculum on copyright for use in classrooms.
The film industry is hoping to avoid the debilitating effects of online piracy which has hit the record industry in the last few years.
The campaign asks people to "put an end to piracy".
"I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for me or for
other executives," said Peter Chernin, president and chief
operating officer of News Corp, the parent firm of 20th Century
Fox, which made the adverts.
"What we are endeavouring to do
is both communicate that it's wrong and also communicate
that there are human stakes and that those stakes are not
just millionaires making less millions."
Online movie piracy, while still a relatively small part of overall film piracy, is beginning to grow as internet connections become faster.
Many blockbusters can be found pirated online, sometimes days before the films have even been released in cinemas.
Film studios believe they still have a few years before
internet connections become fast enough to threaten them.
Studios are experimenting with new business
models, including making films available legitimately
online through services such as Movielink.
"We're not sitting on our hands like the music business
did," Mr Chernin said.
"It may just be that consumers aren't quite ready yet to
turn to the internet for movies," said Fred von Lohmann, a
lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"But when they are, the answer will be to offer them a compelling
legitimate alternative, not telling them to behave
themselves," he added.
The 30-second television advert will have its first run
Thursday night on all the main TV networks.
The first of several trailers will begin
running Friday in most major cinema chains around the
The first trailer features David Goldstein, a set painter
who says that piracy hurts him more than film industry
Each ad ends with the tag line: "Movies.
They're worth it."
The campaign will also include a website that outlines
the implications of illegal downloading as well as
the legal and practical consequences.
"Taking something that doesn't belong to you is wrong,"
said Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA.
"It's in the
long term interest of people to understand there is no free