Film Piracy Increasing In France

    August 6, 2008

French film fans are illegally downloading more movies than they pay to see in theaters, according to a new study.

Alpha, a movie industry group that fights piracy, commissioned the study to examine the number of films downloaded on the Internet via P2P file sharing with movie ticket sales.

Internet users in France illegally downloaded over 13.5 million films in May, according to the study.The National Centre for Cinematography tracked movie ticket sales of 12.2 million for the month.

"This is a major phenomenon that could endanger the cinema and audiovisual industry," Alpha representative Frederic Delacroix told French daily Le Figaro. "The number of subscribers to fast broadband connections is directly proportional to the trend of illegal downloads. These fast lines enable people to make big downloads like films."

The study found an average of more than 10 million movies are illegally downloaded in France every month, reaching 14.1 million in June and peaking last December at 16.6 million.

In the first six months of the year 62 million films were downloaded illegally compared to 90 million movie tickets sold.

American movies represent 66 percent of French illegal downloads with French films coming in second at 19 percent. The blockbuster Transformers is one of the most popular films to illegally download and has been pirated 3.7 million times since October 2007.