Piracy Cost Movie Industry $6.1 Billion: Study

Losses from Internet piracy alone were pegged at $2.3 billion, a new study says.

Laurie Sullivan, Contributor

May 3, 2006

1 Min Read

DVD and Internet piracy cost movie studios $6.1 billion last year, the Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA) said Wednesday.

The study, conducted by LEK Consulting, estimates losses from Internet piracy at $2.3 billion, about $2.4 billion to bootlegging, and $1.4 to illegal copying. The MPAA commissioned the study 18 months ago to quantify the scope of the movie theft in the digital age and to provide ammunition to nudge governments in the United States and internationally to take action.

China, Russia, Hungary are the countries where piracy runs rapid. But countries where MPAA members took the greatest financial hit are Mexico, $483 million; the United Kingdom, $406 million; France, $322 million; and Russia, $266 million.

These new results echo findings in a previous piracy study conducted by Smith Barney in 2003 that predicted the motion picture industry would lose $5.4 billion to piracy in 2005.

The new study found those who actively pirate movies are typically between the ages of 16-24, and more likely male college students living in urban areas. College students in the U.S., Korea and Hungary contribute the most to each country’s individual loss, the MPAA said.

Working to fight piracy and protect copyrights, the MPAA and the Weekly Reader in April launched an education program to inform parents, educators and students about Internet safety.

The MPAA and Recoding Industry Association of America also last month put together a program to help universities identify when music and movies are downloaded illegally on Local Area Networks.

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