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Report: DVD Piracy is Growing

7 May, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

More and more people — especially young men — are making illegal copies of prerecorded DVDs, and there’s no sign that the trend is slowing down, according to research from Futuresource Consulting.

Their study, released May 7, found that 32% of American respondents had made a copy of a prerecorded DVD at least once in the past six months, up from 22% in 2007. Nearly everyone who had recorded a DVD had recorded a new-release movie, and the dedicated copiers had copied more than 11 titles in a six-month period.

“The amount of new release copying [in the United States] is higher,” said Alison Casey, head of Global Content for Futuresource.

The study, commissioned by Macrovision and undertaken by Futuresource, interviewed more than 8,000 people in the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. It consisted of a online survey with 20-minute questionnaires

Perhaps more upsetting for content owners are statistics showing that those making copies of DVDs on average made three copies of a title. Most copies were made either directly on a PC or from a DVD player to a DVD recorder using a composite or S-video cable.

“This surprised a number of us looking at the findings,” Casey said. “Analog copying is still going on, and going on at high rates.”

Most copies were being made off of legitimately purchased DVDs, Futuresource found, and 42% of copiers said they shared their illegal copies with three or more people. “When you get to that level of sharing, clearly the industry is losing revenue,” Casey said.

The one bright spot for the DVD industry in the survey results: In the United States, 77% of respondents said they would buy a legitimate DVD if copying one failed, and 60% who failed to copy actually did go out and buy the title.

Tony Knight, senior product manager for Macrovision, said that of those copying DVDs, only 5% are actual, dedicated pirates, who actively look for ways around DRM and copy-protection measures.

“Not everyone copying content has the same skill level,” he said.

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