Hollywood is increasingly having to deal with Internet pirates who share torrents of new movies online with little or no regard for the copyright violations and intellectual property rights involved. TorrentFreak has recently published its list of ‘Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of 2008′ and The Dark Knight came out on top.
Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of 2008
1. The Dark Knight
2. The Incredible Hulk
3. The Bank Job
4. You Don’t Mess With The Zohan
5. National Treasure: Book of Secrets
7. Tropic Thunder
8. I Am Legend
9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
10. Horton Hears a Who!
This is interesting for a number of reasons. The first and most important being that as popular as The Dark Knight was amongst the pirates, it didn’t seem to harm its success at the box office. Seven million people may have downloaded the movie on BitTorrent but many more times that went to see it at the cinema.
There is the suggestion that most of the people who downloaded the movie torrent had already paid their money and watched the film on the big screen. While that doesn’t justify the act of piracy, it does put a spanner in the works of the movie studios who insist that piracy harms their business.
Bizarrely, the rest of the top ten doesn’t follow box office trends. The Bank Job, which is way down in the box office standings for 2008 comes in third, while Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull isn’t anywhere to be seen despite finishing the year in second place in terms of box office takings.
I’d suggest that if a movie is good enough then people will pay their dues in order to see it, and only download it afterwards in order to get a second viewing. On the other hand, if a movie disappoints (Indiana Jones), very few people will make the effort in downloading it for further viewing.