As well as pirate DVDs, illegal downloads of music and films have become a big problem in recent years.
The internet means we now have more access to information and entertainment than ever before. But if you download illegally, you are not only taking money away from the people who have produced the music or films, you are breaking the law.
If you download film, TV or music content illegally you could be sued by the owner and you could even risk a prison sentence.
There are lots of alternatives to film and music theft, which allow you to download legally at a fair price.
There is a healthy global black market in unofficial copies of popular films being sold without the permission of film-makers and with no money going to the official rights owners. These usually go on sale before the film has had its official DVD release, and often before it has even come out at cinemas in some countries.
Sales of pirate DVDs have increased within the UK and young people aged 15 – 21 buy more pirate DVDs than any other age group.
The sellers of pirate DVDs usually have links with more serious crimes, like people-trafficking, exploitation of minors, and drug dealing.
Buying pirate DVDs from car boot sales, street traders, or through online auction sites like eBay helps to fund these crimes and if you do buy a pirate DVD and it is faulty or poor quality you will not get your money back.
You are also taking money away from the writers and creators of the films. Because of illegal downloads and pirating, investors are less willing to invest in smaller, independent films, including many British films. This means fewer get made and independent British film writers are less able to make a living.
Think of all the writers who might give up and all the films that might never get made because of DVD pirating!
What you can do
- Don’t think of illegal downloads as a ‘soft’ crime where nobody gets hurt
- Try not to be tempted by how cheap illegal downloads are. You could be helping to fund crime in your local community and take away money from the people who’ve created the music or films
- Get clued up about illegal downloads and DVD piracy and find out about legal alternatives at www.copyrightaware.co.uk.