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Filesharers Manifesto Aims to Stop Movie, TV Piracy

Posted by: , 15:44 AEDT, Sat February 5, 2011

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A website has been set up with a list of things that today's digital consumer finds lacking, things that if addressed, could lead to lower movie piracy rates

A group of filesharers have written a manifesto which they hope will help end online movie piracy. They've listed several things which, although no the only cause of piracy, may actually encourage people to pirate. Other filesharers are then encouraged to sign the manifesto on the Don't Make Me Steal website. to pledge "never to illegally download a movie if there was a legal alternative following the criteria on this page".

Critics have called this a form of "blackmail", in that if movie and TV studios don't give in to the demands listed, that piracy will continue. However, to the 2761 people that have signed up to the pledge already, this represents a way to express their displeasure at various tactics studios use to increase their profits or to fight piracy, but in the end only manages to inconvenience legitimate customers.

Amongst the listed criteria (or "demands"), are promises to keep rental prices under a third of the price of a movie ticket, and to make purchases no more than the same price. There are also requests for the content to be available in all different languages/subtitles (and to make it legal for users to create and share their own subtitles), as well as and end to release windows, especially International ones which can delay the release of movies and TV shows by many months.

In fact, the industry's own studies appear to show that some of these concerns are genuine, and that if addressed, it could have a very positive effect on preventing online piracy. For example, a recent report commissioned by NBC Universal found piracy rates in the US was actually much lower than in other countries, and it's partially because people in the US have greater access to legal content, and suffer less from things like release windows. And in another study conducted by Warner Bros, it found that there is a clear link between illegal downloads in foreign markets and the lack of legal content in those market's native languages (the report found that 10 days after the release of pirated content, 74% of downloads were for foreign dubbed versions). 

The manifesto's other requests include no more "you wouldn't steal a car" or similar un-skippable ads at the start of discs, access to a greater range of titles, interoperability, no DRM and easier to understand user license agreements.

You can read the manifesto, and sign up, here:

Do you think this is just excuse making, or even blackmail (suggesting that it is studios that's making them steal), or do you think some of the concerns raised are legitimate issues, that if addressed, should lead to lower piracy rates? Post your opinion in our comments section, or in this forum thread:


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