There’s Hope To Combat Piracy If Hollywood, Industry, and Government Unite (Forbes)

Several studies have shown that piracy hurts the revenues of content owners, and instead pirate sites are reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in online advertising. Yet theft of movies and TV content seems to be as rampant today as ever. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reports that in 2014, just in the U.S. alone, 710 million movies and TV shows were shared via BitTorrent sites. Extrapolating to a global scale (the U.S. is less than 5% of the world’s population) and adding streaming and other piracy methods, losses were likely in the billions of dollars. The staggering order of magnitude may lead some to wonder if it’s even worth fighting the battle, or if it has been lost already. Can the battle against piracy be won? If so, how?

To answer this question I engaged in research, interviews, and debates with technology, piracy, and industry experts, and this the first of several posts on this topic. Let me start with the main conclusion: Isolated efforts by individual stakeholders to eliminate piracy are a losing proposition. Dean Marks, Executive VP and Deputy General Counsel of Global Content Protection at the MPAA, has been involved in the enforcement of copyrights for decades. He adds: “There is no silver bullet against piracy. And anti-piracy technological innovations can only get you so far, because ultimately, if you can see it, you can copy it.” Instead, content owners must coordinate with Internet intermediaries, regulators, and law enforcement to develop a multi-pronged approach to corral and contain piracy.