Bands are giving their music away for free, artists (with the help of the internet) are no longer begging for record deals and even Madonna has chosen to part company with her label. The record companies are starting to realise the bad publicity gained from suing single mothers using limewire isn't helping their cause and you would think that this news would have reached the Australian film and television industry right? Wrong. The "please dont take away our cash cow" pleading that has been the mantra or the recording industry has now been taken up at conciderable cost by the Australian film and television industry. The "what are you really burning" campaign released today by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft undoubtedly cost them a fair slab of cash to put together, the question is if this will have any noticeable effect on the number of movies and TV shows that are pirated in this country.
A couple of questions that come to mind are:-
1. Lets say you don't care much for animated features and would never pay to see a movie like "happy feet" at the cinema or hire it from the video store, is the fact that someone has downloaded the movie really impacting on your bottom line?
2. If less people are going to the cinema to see locally made movies, is this really an indication of the prevalence of piracy or could it be that people are finding alternative ways of spending their free time (you may have heard of something called the internet).
3. If 5 years ago I was spending 70% of my free time watching Commercial TV but now thanks to the internet I am watching exclusive web content (like diggnation or Ask a Ninja) doesn't this tell you that, given the choice I now have, I don't want to watch your crappy content?
Whilst I understand that the AFACT have a vested interest in keeping piracy to a minimum, there are bigger issues that needs to be addressed. In a time where the production tools are becoming so widely available and sites like Youtube allow people to become their own broadcasters maybe people aren't buying/watching because whats on offer just isn't that good.