Report: Warnings Could Reduce Online Film, TV Piracy By Two Thirds

If you’re building a case for anti-filesharing legislation, there’s no more august body to prepare your case than the Oxford Economics institute. In its report for little-heard-of TV and film lobby group Respect For Film, the institute says online piracy cost the industry £235 million in 2008 – that’s nearly half of the £531 million the group says was lost to piracy of all kinds.

But the annual online loss could be reduced to £83.2 million if downloaders received an ISP warning and if detection technologies were deployed, said the group, which cited a previous EMR survey indicating the kind of education-and-warning campaign ISPs trialled with music groups last year are an effective deterrent.

Oxford’s study cites an IPSOS report which estimates 65 million files containing TV series and movies were illegally distributed over P2P last year – though that’s significantly down on the 98 million estimate for illegal UK downloads and streams in 2007, put forward by a collection of film makers in a letter to The Times in December.

The study advocates bandwidth throttling as a “significant inducement to refrain” from illegal downloading and says the “Rights Agency” proposed in Lord Carter’s draft Digital Britain report would “act to reinforce the long-term obligations of ISPs and help ensure they do not fall asleep on the job”.

(Photo: Darren Hester)