Simpsons Movie’s first pirated copy traced


MUMBAI: Close international cooperation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and Twentieth Century Fox resulted in the speedy removal of an unauthorised recording of the The Simpsons Movie within 72 hours of it being posted on the internet and the raid on the home of a 21 year old male alleged to have recorded and uploaded the illegal copy.


AFACT allege that the illegal copy of The Simpsons Movie is the first to have been identified by Fox on the internet anywhere in the world and was camcorded from a cinema in the western suburbs of Sydney on 26 July. AFACT allege that it appeared on the internet within hours of the movie’s global release.


The movie was uploaded on to a United States based global streaming website before the film was screened in the United States, where it was immediately viewed or downloaded more than 3,000 times. Quick action by industry investigators resulted in the copy being removed from the website within two hours of it being uploaded. By then however, the illegal file had already migrated to other web sites.


AFACT investigators found that the movie had also been re-edited with an unauthorized French language version, reformatted and distributed on numerous Bit Torrent sites by two organized release groups which facilitate file sharing.


“This was an outstanding effort on the part of the AFP. We greatly appreciate the speed in which the Australian Police have responded. They have now set the standards we hope to develop with other enforcement agencies in this region. And for those of you out there who think you can get away with a crime on the internet, no one is anonymous in cyberspace” said MPA senior vice president and regional director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.


“More than 90 per cent of newly released movies that illegally appear on the internet and on the streets around the world originate from camcorder copies. This case shows how fast stolen movies spread across the internet, creating a wild fire of illegal copies originating from just one unauthorised recording,” said AFACT executive director Adrianne Pecotic.


“Within 72 hours of making and uploading this unauthorized recording, AFACT had tracked it to other streaming sites and P2P systems where it had been illegally downloaded in excess of 110,000 times and in all probability, copied and sold as a pirate DVD all over the world. The speed and spread of illegal copies across the global internet as a result of this camcord copy being made from a mobile phone in a Sydney cinema is staggering,” he added.


Denis Parkes, an independent cinema owner from regional New South Wales said, “This is further proof that piracy is active in Australian communities, where it seriously hurts cinema owners like me. It demands immediate action from the Australian public and ongoing support from the authorities. I commend the Australian Federal Police for recognising the substantial damage caused by a single act of camcording and for their prompt enforcement action.”


Unauthorised recording of films in cinemas is increasing in Australia with police attending seven reported incidents of camcording across three states in the last six weeks, more than half using new technology mobile phones.