Throughout 2012 we had a lot of attacks on piracy. There was the blocking of sites like The Pirate Bay, the confiscation of a nine year old girl’s laptop, porn stars going after torrent users and loads more. However despite the number of anti-piracy stories, we’ve also had BitTorrent Inc. asking the question “Does bittorrent equal piracy?” and answering “no.” We found out that the biggest music pirates, were also some of the biggest media buyers in the world and that site blocks do not work.
Now we have some other news that counters the anti-piracy trend of 2012, the fact that even with all that downloading going on, the movie industry of America had its biggest year ever, bringing in over $10.8 (£6.8) billion to the economy. On top of that, the total number of movies premièred increased over the year before as well, to a new record of 655. This would seem to suggest that claims piracy is killing the creative industry, are misguided at best.
Compare this to just over a decade ago, where $8.1(£4.93) billion was the international grossing of all movies – back when piracy wasn’t anywhere near as prevalent. Today that figure is over $22 (£13.5) billion.
Nobody is arguing at this point that piracy affects the movie industry, but it seems from the box office trend at least, that in most instances it’s a helping hand, rather than a hindrance.
KitGuru Says: You know what is a hindrance to movie money making? Staggered release dates. If you release a movie in one part of the world and wait weeks or even months – just look at the Wreck it Ralph release schedule – to release it somewhere else, people in that second country will pirate it, because the pirated version offers something that the legitimate one does not – the ability to actually watch it.