Changing economic conditions and the need for a more nuanced approach to tackling the piracy problem has meant a need to soften the anti-piracy message, according to the Industry Trust For IP Awareness, a copyright awareness group whose members include all major members of Hollywood.
In recent times, particularly in the UK, the traditional anti-piracy messages that was so well encapsulated by the "you wouldn't steal a car" campaign has softened to ones that portray a more positive message. It now appears this isn't accidental, but the result of careful research into finding the right message.
And part of the problem with the old message was the changing economic condition.
"The whole landscape was changing from physical infringement to digital infringement and the economy was changing too. We couldn't use the 'cheapskate' message as everyone quite rightly had to save their money - it just didn't work," said Bales, Director of the Industry Trust For IP Awareness.
Research also indicated that while the "Piracy, It's a Crime" message did raise awareness of the piracy issue, it did nothing to alter people's behavior when it came to downloads. That's perhaps because research also showed that some of the worst downloaders were also the movie industry's biggest customers, and that labeling them as criminals was perhaps not the most effective way to change their minds.
The Industry Trust For IP Awareness is one of the first pro-copyright groups that have acknowledged the fact that downloaders are also customers.
"We know that the people that infringe content are the most valuable audience group. They go to the cinema more than the national average, they are buying more Blu-rays than anyone else. They are more likely to have a Sky subscription and they are massively in love with Lovefilm [Amazon Prime Instant] and Netflix," says Bales.
Putting words into actions, the Industry Trust is launching a new anti-piracy campaign called "Moments Worth Paying For". Presenting a more positive message that gently urges users to seek a legal option, instead of an attempt to criminalize their behaviors, the new series of exclusive trailers for movies like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seeks to remind movie lovers the "great entertainment and emotional value they get from film".
"It's saying that we know you love movies and value that you are spending money on movies but we just want you to do a bit more of the right things and less of the infringement," explained Bales.