“What is Video Piracy?
Video Piracy is the unauthorized copying/duplicating of a film on Video Tape or DVD. Imagine how you would feel if you did something creative and someone stole your idea and made money from it by selling it as his own. This is exactly what video piracy it all about. When a film is pirated it is available at local video stores with in days after the films theatrical release (about 7 days later). It usually cost the same as original DVDs (between $25 to $35 - Canadian dollars). You the consumer go to the videostore and buy the dvd without knowing that it was pirated.
How does this affect you?
Well, when you buy a pirated DVD or video, all the money from the sale of the DVD or video goes to the company or individual who pirated the Film(s). The Film makers don't get any of that money. And if a film is a blockbuster, like "Lagaan" (still not released on DVD - anything in the market is pirated) or "Asoka" (will release on DVD in December 2001), film makers loose a lot of money. Some films are considered flops because the pirated videos and DVDs are available so quickly that no one goes to see the film at the theatre. Even though a film could be watched by millions on pirated DVD or video, it wouldn't be considered a hit, because the film makers don't have a record of anything that's sold since it wasn't released by them. This is why many of your favourite movies are flops at the box office.
When the filmmakers loose money, they don't have enough money to make good films for future productions. So they start making films by sacrificing on a well written scripts/stories, thay hire actors who are less talented, Directors who can't be creative because they don't have the budget and horrible music because they can't afford good equipment, there are many other issues involved in the making of a film. But unless these brilliant Directors and Producers are successful in making money from their films, they can't make the next blockbuster. Who know how may blockbusters we have already lost out on because the Director and Producers were unable to complete their vision the way they thought it. If video piracy is stopped, these directors and producers can concentrate on the creativity of a film with having to worry about the cost and where the money is coming from and perhaps we can have more blockbusters every year.
Original DVDs have to pass quality control guidelines which the pirated DVDs never do. The picture quality of pirated DVDs is not as sharp as original DVDs (which is bad for your eyes) and the sound is usually pretty bad. But you still pay the same price for a pirated films as an original one. Original DVDs are transfered from the original print of the films and give you the best available picture quality and the best sound.
What can you do?
First of all, insist on non-pirated DVDs and videos at your local video stores. No matter how tempting it is don't buy pirated versions of newly released films. Because when the original version is released it usually has bonus features on it, like The making of the films, interviews with the stars, deleted scenes, directors comments, posters, postcards etc., so its worth the wait.
If you know of any store(s) that sells pirated video please click here to report them.