The Entertainment Industries
Historically, the entertainment industries have always battled piracy in one form or another. Book piracy was a huge problem in England during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and played a great role in the development of modern copyright law. In the late 1800s, England had a problem at home and in the United States over the pirating of printed sheet music. In the United States, film piracy initially involved film theft. Losses were so great that in 1919 the major film studios formed the Film Theft Committee to fight the pirates. In the years after World War II, with the mass production of the 16-mm motion picture projector, a market for pirated prints developed. The market for pirated prints peaked during the 1960s, with much of the market consisting of film collectors, resorts, hotels, and colleges.
Since the mid- 1960s, the piracy problem in the entertainment industries has been largely a problem of unauthorized copying. In the music industry and in the motion picture industry, high-speed duplicators have made copying the entertainment product an easy startup operation. In the publishing industry, photocopiers have made copying a book quick and inexpensive.
The entertainment industries are particularly vulnerable to the theft of intellectual property. By the mere act of purchasing a legitimate product, a pirate has a master that can be used for starting up production. No other industrial sector has such a naked vulnerability.
For the entertainment industries, not only are the products easy to duplicate, but profitability in the music industry and the motion picture industry rests on a few products and a handful of big-name artists. For example, CBS Records was the industry leader in 1987, but derived much