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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 10:03 GMT
How should DVD piracy be tackled?
Pirate dvds

The UK Film Council is calling for stronger laws to tackle the problem of film piracy and illegal DVD sales.

The UK has one of the highest DVD piracy levels in western Europe, with the black market estimated to be worth around 500m a year.

A report by the council's Anti-Piracy Taskforce, says the laws against copyright theft need to be tightened.

As another measure to combat piracy, the report also suggests movie bosses should make more films available to legally download on the internet,

How should DVD piracy be tackled? Is piracy a serious problem or a means of getting a bargain? Have you bought cheap DVDs?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The chief executive of the UK Film Council, John Woodward, answered your questions.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion received.

DVD's are far too expensive to buy
Simon, Darlington, England

DVD's are far too expensive to buy, same as everything else in this country. Hence we have the highest DVD piracy levels in Europe. The answer is simple, the "fat cats" should bring the price of the DVD's down.
Simon, Darlington, England

If the film industry reduced the cost of their DVDs by 50%, they'd immediately reduce their losses to only 250m! Seriously, though, why do full-price DVDs cost so much more in the UK than elsewhere?
Adrian Waygood, UK

People will pay for good films on DVD but there aren't that many good films being made. Why pay 15 for a film you may only watch once and not enjoy that much anyway - cut the cost like they do when the can't shift the flops.
Norm, England, UK

Isn't it obvious? Release films worldwide within a week of each other. Most people I know buy pirate DVDs because they don't want to have to wait for 3 months before a film's released over here!
Indika Sarathchandra, Surrey

How about downloadable films?
Philip , Bury St Edmunds, UK

As downloadable music is possible, how about downloadable films? The amount of piracy was cut massively by the advent of iTunes and Wippet.
Philip , Bury St Edmunds, UK

Instead of getting the law to prop up a failing business model, why don't they find out what is stopping the customer buying their product? High prices, Regional price fixing, adverts that can't be skipped, are some of the issues that are totally in their control.
Martin, England, UK

One of the major reasons I have heard on TV today against pirate DVDs is poor quality. Presumably it would be fine to buy them if they were of better quality? Surely the main reason should be that it is illegal?
Eric Hughes, Hitchin, UK

Funny that in spite of the increasing amount of piracy, film and music stars, directors and producers are still making obscene amounts of money.
Ian, UK

It costs the average person less than $3 to create a DVD, with studios selling the real DVDs way over these prices. People in the entertainment industry enjoy lavish lifestyles and more money than any sane person would know what to do with; whilst hundreds of millions around the world live in poverty. People should entertain for a love of entertainment, not for a love of the money that comes with it. If the industry is filled with people who are more worried about how much money that make than with how much people actually enjoy their film, then piracy will continue to flourish.
Travis Swift, Cape Town, South Africa

Reduce the cost of the overpriced DVDs and people won't feel the need to buy similar quality DVDs for a greatly reduced price
Ed, London

Allow simultaneous release in all countries instead of allowing the US to have them before Europe. Charge the same worldwide instead of ripping-off Britain. Abandon the stupid "region" restrictions. If I buy a DVD in America while visiting, why shouldn't I watch it in England? It's totally unreasonable and unnecessary. The industry deserves to have problems in the UK as it treats UK customers so badly.
Diana, London, UK

DVD piracy like online music 'sharing' is indicative of our society where people are ok with stealing if their victim is 'some big money-hungry corporation'. The fact is these companies have employees who are not millionaires who will eventually lose their jobs. The government should start enforcing the law. Only fear of punishment will work in this kind of society.
Himal Shelat, Surrey,UK

Impossible. People are always going to create pirate disks, tapes, videos and clothes regardless of what laws are brought in. How about making the originals cheaper in the first place, then people won't feel the need to opt for the 5 car boot alternatives.
Sarah , Chester, UK

Well maybe they need to start from the top. If top film stars weren't paid 10 million dollars for a few months work on a film and the major studios were willing to let their profit margins narrow a little, then the price of DVDs would come down. People would be less inclined to buy a legitimate copy of a film for 5-10 than a rubbish copy for a fiver.
Vik, UK





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