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The Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’) and the charity Crimestoppers are pleased to announce a partnership that makes Crimestoppers the anonymous primary reporting resource for film piracy in the UK. This allows members of the public to report easily and anonymously 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
FACT had previously been using a lo-call number which has been successful in generating intelligence on those involved in the manufacture, distribution and sale of pirate DVDs but the new partnership with Crimestoppers makes it easier and quicker to report such crimes.
Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “The association with Crimestoppers reinforces the message that film piracy is a serious and organised crime, generating nearly £200m a year for criminals and threatening the jobs of those working in the UK film industry at all levels, as well as those in the retail, rental and cinema sectors.
The increased threat from internet piracy is also of great concern as this is often the initial means of distributing the stolen films. We are also working with the cinema industry to reduce the risk of films being camcorded in UK cinemas.
FACT has increased its investigative resources in all areas in the past year and we are delighted to be able to link up with such a respected charity as Crimestoppers which will provide us with high quality intelligence on those seeking to profit from the theft of films in any format.”
Dave Cording, Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations, added: “Film piracy in the UK is a growing problem, with far reaching impacts on the wider community that the public may not be aware of. Piracy not only costs the film industry millions each year, but the serious organised nature of the crime is why Crimestoppers and FACT are working in partnership to bring to justice those responsible.
Money from sales of pirated materials can be connected to funding much more serious criminal activities, such as people smuggling and drug dealing, which is not obvious when buying a copied DVD in the street or in a local pub.
Anyone with information can help expose those behind film piracy and stop criminals funding other crimes, by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Your call cannot be traced and we will not ask your name.”
In support of the new partnership, the Industry Trust for IP Awareness is launching a large-scale online awareness campaign to educate web users about the new way to report copyright theft. The campaign uses online advertising techniques to urge web users to keep an eye out for those selling illegal content, and signposts the new Crimestoppers service. This call for vigilance and action is reinforced by the advertising creatives. These create user engagement with a pair of animated eyes which can follow around the direction of a mouse pointer wherever it is positioned on the banners.
Paul Archer, Acting Director-General of the Industry Trust, said: “Copyright theft is no longer just about dodgy DVD dealers at car boot sales. The challenge is much wider than that and as an industry we need to adapt our tactics accordingly. With the internet now a major source of illegal content, it’s an important channel for the Crimestoppers message. Our online advertising campaign reminds web users that copyright theft in any guise is a crime and urges them to report it, whether they see it at their local car boot sale or in the pub, or spot illegal content being sold online.”