The Film Piracy Problem
Film piracy is the illegal copying and distribution of movies in print, videos, DVDs or electronic files. New developments in digital technology make server-based or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing on the Internet convenient and relatively fast. A negative consequence of this new technology, however, is online theft of copyrighted material. This lesson introduces students to the problem of film piracy, focusing specifically on Internet file sharing, especially P2P. The lesson’s activities encompass much more than a focus on the effects of film piracy on profits for movie studios or royalties for actors. Activity A helps students define the issue and its implications. Activity B is a problem-solving project that challenges students’ team-building skills. Team members assume different roles: One researches and interprets copyright laws; another researches and reports on digital technology; and other viewpoints—the consumer’s as well as the filmmaker’s—are also explored. In completing their team tasks, students develop critical-thinking skills and a conceptual understanding of their subject. Because devising a solution requires application of knowledge from multiple subject areas, including math and social studies, this is an ideal activity to conclude The Story of Movies interdisciplinary curriculum. Students will read an article on film piracy. They will work in teams to research both print materials and Internet resources about film piracy. They’ll practice communicating information to one another, and then as a team present their “best solution” to the class. View the Film Standards and Cross-Curricular Connections for this teaching unit.
Students will use problem-solving approaches to investigate and understand film piracy; research Internet and print sources; communicate specific information in a clear and concise way to team members; work in collaboration with a team to develop and evaluate a solution to a problem.
(Note: All terms are defined within the activity text that follows. film piracy, download, upload, revenue, licensing, intellectual property, digital, copyright, fair use, public domain, attribution, copyright infringement, P2P network, residuals Activity Activity A Film Piracy and Copyright Laws Activity B The Problem-Solving Project Print Materials • Reading Activity: Stealing the Show • • • • • • • • Group Activity 1: The Film Piracy Problem Research Activity 2-A The Legal Assistant Research Activity 2-B: The Business Assistant Research Activity 2-C: The Technology Specialist Research Activity 2-D: The Film-Industry Spokesperson Research Activity 2-E: The Consumer Researcher Group Activity 3: Brainstorming Solutions Group Activity 4: Best Solution Presentation Sheet
Copyright © 2005 The Film Foundation. All rights reserved. The Story of Movies: The Film Piracy Problem
The Film Piracy Problem
Film Piracy and Copyright Laws
Online film piracy is the illegal downloading and uploading of movies in print, videos, DVDs or electronic files.
Generate pre-reading discussion by asking students the following question: If you want to see a movie, what do you do? Guide responses to include purchasing tickets to see the movie in theaters and renting or purchasing a DVD copy of the movie for home viewing. Some students may also suggest downloading movies from the Internet. Still others may say they wait until the movie is shown on television. Continue the warm-up discussion by asking two additional questions: How does a movie earn money for the movie studio that owns it? Again, focus discussion on box-office revenue and video rentals/sales. Emphasize that television networks and cable channels pay movie studios for the right to broadcast movies. This is called licensing a movie. However, movie studios do not receive a fee when a pirated movie is uploaded to the Internet...