What you should do if your content gets pirated
Online piracy is estimated to cost the Film and TV industry in excess of $51.6 billion by 2022.
For both emerging and established filmmakers, piracy-driven profit losses can be devastating.
Should you find yourself falling victim to profit-slashing piracy, there are steps you can take to minimise the damage before it’s too late.
Here are the steps you should follow if you find out your film has been pirated:
- Figure out if and where your film is being pirated.
- Send a takedown notice. Then send another one. (And another one.)
- Contact your local anti-piracy authority.
Read on for more details around each of the steps you should take if you’ve been a victim of piracy, as well as for useful links, resources, and the contact details of your local anti-piracy or intellectual property authority.
Step 1: Figure out if and where your film is being pirated.
Google is your friend: be sure to use advanced filters to adjust the time period, cross check titles with similar wording, and add your own name or the names of the actors in your film. Alternatively, go directly to pirate sites and search there.
Two bonus tactics to help you scan the interwebs for pirated copies of your content:
- Set up a Google Alert for your films title on major piracy sites like Pirate Bay:
- Alternatively, contact Screener Copy, powered by Custos, about using our Piracy Analytics Tool to scan the internet (and the dark web) for your film.
Step 2: Send a takedown notice. Then send another one. (And another one.)
Also known as DMCA Letters, takedown notice templates can easily be found online.
The difficult part?
Getting all of your admin in order, and then locating distinctly elusive contact details on shady pirate sites.
You must send this notice in writing to the webhosting company, which you can learn through a WHOIS lookup. You must provide at a minimum:
Now, unfortunately, there is no such thing as “international” copyright law. And the above advice only technically applies to rights holders residing in the big ol’ U S of A.
While there are numerous intercontinental treaties and agreements attempting to protect creators from piracy, the actual persecution of online pirates over international waters is a tricky business in the age of the interwebs.
Step 3: Contact your local anti-piracy authority
Here’s a list of a few anti-piracy and copyright authorities around the world:
- United States — The U.S Copyright Office: (202) 707–3000 or 1 (877) 476–0778 (toll free)
- United Kingdom — The UK Intellectual Property Office: [email protected] or 0300 300 2000 or +44 (0)1633 814000 (for outside the UK)
- South Africa — The Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT): +27 11 403 1105 or [email protected]
- Canada — The Canadian Intellectual Property Office: 1-866-997-1936 or 1-819-934-0544 (for outside of Canada)
…Oh, you don’t have time to do all of that?
Skip steps 1 through 3 and simply go straight to —
Step 4: Start using Screener Copy to distribute your media, securely.
Screener Copy, powered by Custos Media Technologies, is an online video hosting and distribution platform using forensic watermarking and blockchain technology to protect you from online piracy.
Using Screener Copy, you can:
- Upload videos to a secure platform
- Get them imperceptibly watermarked
- Distribute screeners via email
- Track who watches what, in real time
- Be instantly notified of any content leaks, even on the dark web
- Get support on legal proceedings, should an infringement occur