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Last Updated: Friday, 18 August 2006, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Film piracy: Is it theft?
Dan Glickman and John Perry Barlow

While cinemas are working to deliver us a better movie going experience, quite a few of us seem to be perfectly happy watching dodgy copies of movies downloaded on our PCs.

Clever file-sharing technologies like BitTorrent have allowed online movie sharing to flourish.

It is thought that half a million films are traded every day in the darkest cloisters of the net, the so-called darknet.

The perpetrators are the new, net savvy generation who laugh in the faces of those who say copyright is theft.

Often they are simply bent on getting something for nothing, but some get off on the thrill of metaphorically slapping the Hollywood suits down in the way they did the music industry behemoths.

Fighting back

Hollywood is clearly unhappy, and in amongst the public education campaigns, it has been sharpening its knives and wheeling out its even sharper legal eagles.

Campaign against piracy
Hollywood is losing billions of dollars a year to piracy

In practice that has meant action against everyone from movie sharing individuals, BitTorrent search engines, the Internet service providers hosting them, and anyone else who is deemed to be threatening their profits.

But could there ever be peace between Hollywood and the hackers?

We tracked down the two most powerful voices on either side of the divide and asked them about their own philosophies, and what they thought of their opponent.

In the blue corner: Dan Glickman, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, the body that wields the collective political and legal muscle of the Hollywood studios.

In the red corner: John Perry Barlow, lyricist in the US band The Grateful Dead. More pertinently, he went on to co-found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the pressure group that's placed itself centre-stage in the fight to keep the digital copyright cops at bay.

File-sharing 'darknet' unveiled
16 Aug 06 |  Technology
Police hit major BitTorrent site
01 Jun 06 |  Technology
Hollywood campaign hits websites
20 Dec 04 |  Technology


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