French Illicit P2P Movie Downloads Now Equal Box Office Sales

The French are now downloading at least as many movies illegally as they are watching in cinemas, according to research. Anti-piracy movie group Alpa’s study found those there downloaded over 13.5 million films illegally via P2P in May, a month that saw 12.2 million cinema tickets sold according to the National Centre for Cinematography.

Alpa monitored the top 100 movies P2P movies and said they accounted for 90 percent of P2P activity; reported an average 450,000 daily downloads, or 14 million per month – surprisingly huge numbers that seem to dwarf the P2P music problem. Director Frederic Delacroix (via AFP): “We are facing a major phenomenon that can endanger the film industry and audiovisual industries. We did not expect such figures. The piracy of films requires urgent measures.”

But France is already moving toward anti-P2P measures, preparing legislation that would compel ISPs to monitor their networks and send three warning letters to offenders before disconnecting them. Delacroix supports this measure. Variety says Alpa’s report, not due until September, was itself leaked online.

(Photo: Fernando de Souza, some rights reserved)