The RAND corporation has published a heavy document entitled: “Film Piracy, Organized Crime and Terrorism”. This 162 page document is extremely well documented. Through published facts, it sheds some lights on the proven links between film piracy and organized crime (and even terrorist organizations) all over the world. It also shows some examples of legal authorities that are helping piracy. My preferred story is this Russian illegal replication DVD plant (pressing capabilities of 800,000 per month) which was closed after a first raid. It was sealed and put under surveillance by the police. Four months later, a new raid seized 55,000 new illegal DVDs (while the plant was supposed to be closed!)
Film piracy is an activity that has a low entry barrier, and low risk of heavy jail sentencing. It has even a better margin than drug selling (at least 3 times bigger).
This document is somewhat frightening. We are far from the student downloading a movie and distributing it to friends.
Of course, no technological answer can help in this case. The only thing we can do is to delay as much as possible the availability of bootlegs! But once available, technology is out of game.
The answer is obviously legal. The report is not very optimistic. Film piracy is still considered as victimless counterfeiting. This is not the case for pharmaceutical counterfeiting. Thus, it may not be the first priority of the authorities. The report expects that if public awareness of the links between film piracy and organized crime or terrorism would increase, then people would be less attracted by cheap illegal DVDs.
17-march:repaired the broken link to RAND document