Cinema staff rewarded for tackling film piracy

Cinema staff from across the UK were recognised and rewarded yesterday (5th July) for their work in disrupting and preventing film piracy.

The 17 vigilant staff members were rewarded at a special ceremony held at Twentieth Century Fox in London as part of a dedicated and extensive ‘Fight Film Theft’ programme operated nationwide by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and funded by the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA).

The staff were all awarded with a cash prize along with a certificate for spotting and tackling individuals who illegally record films in cinemas. Their efforts helped protect blockbusters including Deadpool, The Jungle Book and Angry Birds as well as several popular Bollywood films.

With 90% of pirated films sourced directly from cinemas around the world, the Fight Film Theft programme is a vital element in protecting the UK film industry. As part of the programme, cinema staff from across the country receive training from FACT to provide them with the skills and expertise to spot and disrupt illegal recording. When they identify and report a piracy incident they are eligible to receive an award of up to £500.

fact_awards_42
Cinema staff with FACT Director General Kieron Sharp

The employees rewarded represented cinemas circuits Cineworld, Empire, Showcase and Vue and collectively they represented 17 incidents, all of which were reported to the police.

Mark Batey, Chief Executive, Film Distributors’ Association, said: “With a bumper summer line-up full of exciting new releases to experience at the cinema, raising awareness of digital film theft, and empowering cinema staff, is a key priority to ensure the UK remains the most safe and secure environment in which to release movies.

“On behalf of UK distributors we would like to thank all of the awardees for their continued vigilance and commitment which has helped to safeguard so many great films.”

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, added: “Illegal recording is still the source of more than 90% of all pirated films and so our Fight Film Theft programme with the FDA, is essential to protecting new releases and preventing criminal activity.”

“Our creative industries now account for more than 1.8 million jobs and by supporting cinema staff to identify and take action on those stealing creative content, we not only are protecting the picture on the big screen, but the hundreds of people working behind it to put it there.”

Alongside the reward programme, FDA also provides vital extra resources for FACT to support cinema staff training and online scanning, as well as an on-going supply of night vision devices to help staff deter recording attempts in situ. Film theft from cinemas worldwide remains the single biggest source of both illegal copies online and counterfeit DVDs, and the programme continues to be highly effective, training and assisting UK cinema staff in preventing infringement and loss.

Related News

Partnerships Prosecutions

Counterfeit DVD seller ordered to pay £567,000

A Staffordshire man who was jailed for 16 months for selling fake DVDs on eBay, has since been ordered to pay back more than half a million pounds. A successful joint investigation by FACT and Staffordshire Trading Standards discovered Foster was buying counterfeit DVDs from China and selling as genuine products on eBay to customers across the world. He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment in January 2016.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Two men ordered to pay over £19k for illegal Sky Sports

On Monday 12th February 2018, Mr Carl Furlong, of the Park Hotel, Liverpool was found guilty in his absence of four offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky. Carl Furlong and Peter Scully of the Park Hotel in Liverpool, Merseyside, were originally found … Continued

News Partnerships

Dutch courts grant injunction against Ecatel for illegal Premier League streams

The internet hosting provider Ecatel has been ordered by the Dutch District Court in The Hague to stop providing any services that facilitate the viewing of illegal streams of Premier League football, and could face a fine of up to €1.5 million if it refuses to do so. The Premier League took legal action against … Continued

News Prosecutions

Pub fined £24k for showing Sky Sports illegally

A Huddersfield licensee has pleaded guilty to six offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports football matches to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky. Casa Events Ltd, premises licensee of The Casa, Huddersfield, was fined £2,500 on each offence, plus ordered to pay a £200 victim surcharge and costs … Continued