The Devastating Effects of Web Piracy on the Entertainment Industry

Categories: InternetPiracy


Web Piracy has drastically impacted the music and movie industry and by downloading illegally on the Web, millions of Web users switch billions of dollars worth of music and movies. With all the sharing of copyrighted products, the music and film market is losing countless dollars. This research study checks out the effects of Internet Piracy and present projects to deter it. The research study shows the effectiveness of existing projects and the relationship in between the decrease of the music and film industry and the increase of Internet Piracy.

Exploring the excellent and bad of projects and utilizing the info to propose a documentary to approach the issue. Raising awareness and educate Web users about Internet Piracy and try to have the numbers under control.

1. Introduction

" Combating against Internet piracy and violation is a long-lasting mission and an uphill journey."-- Yan Xiao Hong, Deputy Director, National Copyright Administration of China (quoted in AFP 2006).

The exchange of details is nothing new.

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Technologies modification, cultures alter, and individuals alter, however in any point of human history there are individuals that copy and distribute the work of others in any kind. Technologies that assist the production and circulation of details heavily influenced the shape of history, specifically when it is accessible to bigger population of people. From prints to recordable medias, every innovation advances us nearer to today's digital file sharing. Today, Web pirates operate online stealing billions of dollars worth of digital content every year (Fisk, 2009).

By downloading illegally on the Web, millions of users developed into pirates switching billions of dollars worth of music and movies and other copyright that can be converted to digital format.

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With all the sharing of copyrighted products, the music and film industry is losing countless dollars (Fisk, 2009). Therefore, Internet Piracy has drastically impacted the music and movie industry and Internet users require to be informed by means of a documentary on how to combat piracy in Singapore.

2. Findings & Analysis
2.1 Background

According to a trusted Internet survey, a staggering 70% of Internet users think there is nothing wrong with online piracy (Go-Globe, 2011). In the context of the U.S economy alone, there is $12.5 billion dollars in losses, more than 70,000 lost jobs, and $2 billion in lost wages thus far – Internet Piracy being the main cause. (Siwek, 2007). The niggling issue regarding Internet Piracy is severe. However, after decades and numerous efforts to stop it, the results of the actions taken by the entertainment and other industries have been futile, having no impact in reducing piracy amongst users. On the contrary, the rate of Internet Piracy has increased significantly in recent years, and the figure will only continue its growth (Cones, 2010).

2.2 Survey

Through a survey put up by me, the results gathered were not surprising. Eighty-four percent of the online users surveyed have downloaded media in the past month but sixty-two percent do not mind paying for these media. When asked if they know the consequences of downloading copyrighted contents, seventy-three percent knew of the consequences but fifty-four are not afraid of getting caught. This has further cemented the proof that the existing anti-piracy campaigns are not working. Although only thirty-five percent of interviewees are interested in taking part to combat Internet piracy, a slight increment of fourteen percent wants to be educated about piracy and fifty-four percent will watch documentaries about it.

2.3 Existing Campaigns

With this established, it is needless to say that existing anti-piracy campaigns and action taken thus far have had little to no effect. An example is of companies taking the issue to court.

There are two types of copyright infringement, civil and criminal and in both cases the users must be identified and evidence must be gathered before putting them into the arms of the law. In civil cases, copyright holders handle the process. In criminal cases, law enforcement units utilize different tools and techniques with variable reliability to gather evidence, often causing defragmentation in its accuracy. An example of one such unfortunate incident is the widely publicized lawsuit brought up by the RIAA against a deceased 83-year-old woman. She was accused of sharing over 700 songs under the username “smittenedkitten”. The case was later dropped by the RIAA after it was confirmed that the woman had never even owned a computer (Fisk, 2011).

Another movement to deter piracy was the introduction of the Digital Rights Management (DRM). This technology makes it difficult for users to make copies of content. DMCA also legally protects DRM, making it a criminal offense to remove DRM protection. At present, most media contains some form of DRM (Fisk, 2011).

Most DRM schemes, however, only provide protection temporarily. The protection can still be easily cracked by professional pirates and made widely available.

One popular movement most Internet users have occurred is the presence of a short video about piracy at the start of movies in cinemas and retail DVDs and VCDs. However, such a movement is to a degree, arbitrary, as the video's primary target audience is piracy supporters. Ironically, this has, instead of deterring piracy, led to users turning to it in search for more ‘freedom’. The same content could be available online- and without the presence of irritating advertisements that "block" the movie itself.

2.4 Piracy Campaigns

Guerilla campaigning has been more successful amongst the campaigns. In August 21, 2006, an organization dubbed “The League of Noble Peers” released a documentary in support of Internet Piracy. The documentary “Steal This Film” was distributed freely on ‘BitTorrent’, a software frequented by Internet pirates to share copyrighted content. The film received wide positive reviews and was screened across film festivals from all around the world (King, 2008).

The campaign against Anti-Piracy is much more successful mainly because the pro-piracy organizations made use of the much hated force feeding methods deployed by copyright holders and make it to their benefits. Although misleading and being one-sided, the film is extremely effective and hence, manages to spur a movement against Anti-Piracy – The copyright holder’s plan backfired.

2.5 Good Campaigns

The first step to making a good campaign is to study what works and what do not. In this case it is quite obvious that the methods used by the “The league of Noble Peers” work and the copyright holders methods are not working. Hence, the best way to educate Internet users and combat piracy is to create an effective and different documentary and distribute it for free online.

The documentary “The Cove” is a good example of an effective and good documentary. By challenging the question head on with exclusive footage shot in a unique perspective, it managed to become one of the best and most influential documentaries that caused a movement with the intended and desired effect. A ninety-four percent positive rating from both Rotten Tomatoes and proved the huge positive reception for the documentary (Rotten Tomatoes Various Authors, 2009). Thus the model of a good documentary is effective at spreading information and educates people.

3. Conclusion

Internet Piracy, despite years of effort to deter it, the existing campaigns’ messages are not strong or effective enough to keep Internet Piracy at bay. Therefore, after studying the good and bad of these existing campaigns, a necessary solution has to be done to control the situation. Thus, after knowing the proven effect of a documentary, there is a need for a good documentary to educate online users about Internet Piracy to have the numbers within control. From the above analysis, making a documentary is one of the best options to try and deter the increase in Internet Piracy. With the documentary, more people will be aware of the issue and understand what the industry is going through with Internet Piracy currently affecting the market. Hence with the proposed documentary, results will be highly positive and have the number of Internet Piracy under control.

4. Recommendations

The documentary will be shot as an investigative documentary and the approach will not be a traditional documentary but a new approach similar to “The Cove”. The documentary will take viewers through the insights of local music and film industry, to introduce the hard work behind the contents they produced over the years. The film will gradually take a stand against Internet Piracy by showing the negativity, cause and effects to the economy due to illegal file sharing over the years.

The showing of such effects includes some potential creative firms closing down due to the decline in sales because of the act of downloading illegally. The documentary will take a turn in mood and attempts to go behind the scene to track down Internet pirates and following authorities to prosecute them. The documentary will end off with local musicians and filmmakers having their say against Internet Piracy. The film will be distributed for free over the Internet via torrent, streaming sites and file-sharing forums and hopefully on free-to-air television networks to increase exposure for the film.


Cones, J. (2010). Business plans for filmmakers. Southern Illinois University Press.

Fisk, N. (2011). Digital piracy. New York: Chelsea House.

Fisk, N. (2009). Understanding online piracy: The truth about illegal file sharing. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Go-Globe. (2011, November 01). Online piracy. Retrieved from

King, J. (January 3, 2008). The Future Doesn't Care About The Bank Balance but the 1/1000 do!. Retrieved from

Rotten Tomatoes Various Authors. (2009). The cove. Retrieved from

Siwek, S. (2007, August 21).The true cost of sound recording piracy to the US economy. Retrieved from

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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The Devastating Effects of Web Piracy on the Entertainment Industry. (2017, Jan 04). Retrieved from

The Devastating Effects of Web Piracy on the Entertainment Industry essay
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