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Video piracy is the act of duplicating images, videos, and audio content that is protected by copyright law. It is considered an infringement since duplication is carried out without the consent from the copyright owner. It means that if a person copies a movie from the original source and sells it for financial gain, he or she has broken copyright law. However, if an individual copies and dispenses media content without financial gain, he or she has still broken a copyright law. This type of piracy applies to both video and audio content protected by legal copyright license. It means that media content that is public domain should not be pirated. Video piracy is detrimental to the growth of the entertainment industry as it causes heavy losses to both the artists and governments concerned. Thus, it should carry a mandatory jail sentence as well as a fine.
Video piracy often affects people in the entertainment industry. It is cited as a major contributor to lost revenues in both television and film production. Over the last decade, the popularity of internet has increased tremendously. High-speed and broadband internet connectivity has been available to many people in different nations across the world. It has enhanced the rate of video piracy over the internet. It has in turn become a major problem for copyright owners. Over the years, there have been numerous attempts to fight off video piracy in many nations. Such measures have included creating distinct video formats and punishing those who broke them. However, video piracy continues to grow in different nations around the world. There are various disadvantages of video piracy.
First, in order to share pirated content, video pirates have created free-sharing websites to distribute their content. Such websites have a large collection of video, audio, and software content. They are designed in a manner that anyone can share and distribute pirated content to others for free. They are open to the public and, for this reason, they are characterized as free-sharing websites. Visiting such websites exposes a person’s computer system to ad-ware and malware viruses such as the Trojan horse (Coakley, 2014). This can result in the breakdown of a person’s computer system, which may be expensive to repair. It may also result in substantial loss of data, mostly on commercially used computers. This is the first reason why video piracy should be banned and heavy penalties should be imposed on those who break the copyright laws.
Through downloading pirated video and music, media content is available to the public. It makes the media content spread far and wide to many consumers. The accessibility of pirated content online makes the media content less in value. Something that is scarce makes it precious while content that is plentiful becomes lesser in value. This results in the fall of both video and music prices so as to increase the sales volume. Such an outcome results in fewer profits for the artists who produce the original content. It also results in less revenue collected by the government in taxes from the sales of media content. Lost revenue, in such cases, impedes the average economic development of the nation.
For a government to protect original rights of video content, policies to restrict downloading pirated content have been imposed. However, people have continued to take risks of getting caught downloading such content available on the internet. When caught, they normally get criminal records that deny them competitive chances of applying for lucrative positions in the job market. At the current time, employers are keen to scrutinize the behavior records of job applicants before giving them employment. If so many people attain criminal records because of downloading pirated video content, then the employment sector will be affected. Governments will have competent persons who cannot secure formal employment in the nation. This hampers the general economic development of the nation.
Quality is of paramount importance in order for consumer satisfaction to be attained. Video piracy reduces the quality of video content exposed to the public. This is because the pirated content shared on the free-share websites may be in camera-copy versions recorded by low quality video cameras at the cinema halls. Some people use camcorders and phones in cinemas to record blockbusters and then sell them cheaply over the internet (Perkins, 2014). Such content is usually blurred in some sections and at times, some parts may be omitted. The urge to watch video productions diminishes among many people due to the low quality of videos available to the public. This affects the whole entertainment industry at large. The industry produces an immense amount of video content, but only a low percentage of audience will potentially watch it. A setback in the entertainment industry affects the whole economy of the country.
In 2009, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) conducted a statistical research to determine the effect of video piracy on the economy. Their findings disclosed that media content sales declined from $13.7 billion in 1998 to over $8.5 billion in 2008 (Goh Siew Hoon, 2014). In Australia, total losses due to movie theft amounted to $193 million. The net profit after direct movie losses experienced by the movie industry was estimated to amount to $575 million. This amount was almost 3 times the rate of total revenue value generated by AFL clubs Collingwood, Geelong, Carlton, and Hawthorn. RIAA concluded that globally, video and music piracy causes losses around $12.5 billion. Over 71,060 United States’ jobs are lost, and there are over 2.7 billion losses in the form of wages and salaries.