Film, TV, music industries tackle pirate website confusion

The UK film, TV, video and music industries have joined forces with Internet safety charity, Childnet International, to launch a campaign to provide clarity for parents and teachers when it comes to accessing music, films, TV and video safely and legally on the Internet.

The Industry Trust for IP Awareness (which represents the film and TV industry in the UK) and the BPI (which represents the music industry in the UK and internationally) have collaborated with Childnet International as part of their ongoing commitment to educate consumers about the wealth of legal online services for music, film, TV and video content.

The organisations first collaborated in 2010 to create the free guide – Music, Films and the Internet – which has now been updated online at www.childnet.com/downloading with new advice and information in reaction to common questions received from parents and teachers by Childnet’s Education team.

New additions to the guide include advice to help parents and teachers determine whether a website for music, film, TV and video content is legal or not as new research commissioned to launch the campaign reveals the extent of consumer confusion over pirate sites.

A new online study by YouGov asked 2,061 UK adults to differentiate websites offering music, film and TV illegally from legitimate retailer sites by showing them five de-branded screen-grabs from a selection of pirate and legitimate sites. It revealed:

  • One in four of all UK adults (24%) was unable to differentiate any pirate websites from the real deal
  • Confusion was high among parents in particular: 36% of parents were unable to correctly identify any of the pirate websites
  • Young people aged 18-24 were the least likely to be confused by pirate sites

The research builds on Ofcom’s 2012 findings last year that 41 per cent] of adults are unsure whether the content they are accessing online is legal or not – and points to the need to provide parents, in particular, with greater support.

The guide has been launched with a national media campaign fronted by TV actress and mum of three, Keeley Hawes, and Childnet’s Director of Policy, Lucinda Fell.

Lucinda Fell, Director of Policy at Childnet International, said: “We know that many parents are concerned about keeping up with what their children are doing online and accessing digital content can be a particularly unclear area. We know from our work in schools, and as this study shows, it can be confusing to know what can and can’t be done safely and legally online. This advice on accessing music, film, TV and video content online gives parents and carers practical information and advice about accessing entertainment online, and signposts to where they and their children can enjoy this content safely and legally.”

Hawes said that as a mum, she tries to take an active interest in the websites her children visit to get their films and music from. “It’s important to know where they can access their favourite songs, films and TV programmes safely and legally both for their protection and my own peace of mind. It’s great to get this advice on this all in one place,” she added.

Liz Bales of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, noted that there are “a lot of pirate sites out there” and a lot of confusion when it comes to identifying them. “It is very important to the industry to help educate consumers who are fans of film, TV, video and music on this topic. This is why the industry has got involved in creating resources such as Childnet’s online guide and The Content Map website, where internet users can go to check that the website they are using to access film, TV and music is a legal one.”

 

The free online guide encourages parents and teachers to discuss with children the types of websites they are visiting to get their songs, films and TV programmes and highlights the safety risks and legal implications of using illegal pirate and file-sharing sites. The guide signposts to legal sources of music, film, TV and video content online through tools like www.FindAnyFilm.com, www.whymusicmatters.org and www.thecontentmap.com.

 

Parents and teachers are also encouraged to discuss the ethical implications of illegal file sharing – for example, how using legal sites to access film, TV and music ensures that artists and creators are rewarded fairly for their work and how young people can protect their own copyright when creating their own work

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