The majority of pirated versions of films are sourced in cinemas globally – via illegal recording or ‘camcording’.
Individuals use compact devices, predominantly smartphones, to record video and/or audio directly from the cinema screen.
Typically, the stolen content is then illegally transferred to ‘internet release groups’, who make the content available for consumers globally. These release groups seek kudos and revenue from being the first to make the content available illegally online.
Illegally recorded films are also acquired by organised crime networks – typically operating for profit across multiple illegal activities.
In some cases, offenders seek to obtain infringing audio-only content from local-language film soundtracks. Such content is then combined with infringing visual content from other cinemas, usually in other territories, to create versions in different local languages and thereby increasing their marketplace.
Such illegal activity is clearly very damaging to the industry – not only does the availability of pirated-versions of newly released films online cause significant financial loss to distributors and exhibitors, but it also has an impact on our ability to offer reassurance that we can release films securely here ahead of other territories.