Friday, August 08, 2008

Illegal Downloads Near Box Office Levels in France: Report

Ironic, isn't it? This report, from the Association Against Audiovisual Piracy (ALPA) wasn't supposed to be released until September. However, it was leaked earlier this week to --- where else? --- the Internet.

According to the study, which studied Web traffic from November 2007 to June 2008,nearly 450,000 illegal downloads of films occur every day in France. The study focused on the 100 most most popular downloads, both foreign and French during the eight-month period. According to the report, those 100 films represented 90% of the traffic.

The hit French comedy Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, which sold 20.3 millions tickets domestically, topped the charts, averaging around 9,800 downloads and downloaded a total of 682,000 times during the study.

While the film was available online within days of its general French release, we know that's sort of thing isn't isolated to France: The Dark Knight was available in grainy form on opening weekend.

And despite their alarmist claims ... 20 million vs. 682,000 ... doesn't seem to be near box office levels to me. "We are facing a major phenomenon that can endanger the film industry and (other) audiovisual industries. We did not expect such numbers. The piracy of films requires urgent measures." ALPA director Frederic Delacroix told AFP (French) on Tuesday.

Just the kind of report that might get the E.U. to enact the proposed "Three Strikes Law," or even a downloading tax, no matter how the numbers add up.

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