Magazine article Screen International

Pirating of Film and TV Cost France €1.35Bn in 2016 (Report)

Magazine article Screen International

Pirating of Film and TV Cost France €1.35Bn in 2016 (Report)

Article excerpt

The pirating of audiovisual content cost France an estimated euro1.35b ($1.42b) in lost tax revenue and earnings in 2016, according to a new study by the French branch of global consultancy and accountancy group EY.

An estimated 13 million people accessed pirated audiovisual content in France last year, equivalent to 27% of France's 48 million internet users, the report published on Feb 22 revealed.

"The pirating of audiovisual content in France represents a significant economic and social cost - to the state, creatives, distributors and employees - and is not going down in spite of efforts to develop a legal offering," it noted.

"This underlines the need to re-enforce the support for the fight against piracy. The government also needs to play its role, in collaboration with international authorities, for it to be effective."


Breaking down the euro1.35bn loss, the study estimated that audiovisual piracy cost the French state euro430m in tax and social charges receipts; creators and rights-holders euro265m in lost earnings; euro330m in lost investments by audiovisual groups and another euro265m in earnings for distributors and marketing companies.

The study also suggested that earnings lost to piracy resulted in 2,000 less jobs in the audiovisual sector with an estimated combined salary worth euro60m.

Biggest losers

DVD, VoD and pay-TV release windows suffered the most financial losses from piracy, but free-to-air TV and theatrical box office were also impacted, noted the report.

It suggested that VoD earnings lost due to piracy stood at euro180m, equivalent to 78% of the euro240m turnover generated by legal offerings.

For the theatrical release window, EY study estimated that piracy had shaved euro50m offthe total euro1.33bn box office in 2016, or roughly 4% of the gross.

"The theatrical release window remains relatively untouched thanks to the 'theatrical experience' and the lack of quality illegal content," noted the report.

But to put the overall figure of euro1.35bn into another context, it outstrips the average annual investment in French film production, which came in at euro1.2bn in 2015, euro799m in 2014 and euro1.02bn in 2013.

Industry frustration

The report comes amid growing frustration within parts of France's film and TV industries over the country's poor track record in clamping down on piracy. …

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