James Bond captured by pirates

The film industry is hit again by Net theft

The battle between the film industry and computer pirates heated up Monday with the James Bond blockbuster -- The World Is Not Enough -- the latest victim of piracy.

The film, due November 18 is currently available free on the Web according to reports. It is the second time Hollywood has fallen foul of the Internet. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was widely available on the Net during the summer.

FAST discovered the pirates to be students at a university in the north of England who had uploaded the whole film onto a server according to Geoff Webster, chief executive of FAST (Federation Against Software Theft). The source of the pirated copy of The World Is Not Enough is not known.

Eon, the company behind the Bond film, would not comment on the story.

Webster reckons the film studios are entering a battle they have very little hope of winning. He agrees the dawn of high speed Net access, compliments of ADSL, and the possibility of free Internet access will "exacerbate" the problem as users see the barriers of downloading erode but can see no easy answers in the short term. "There is technology being developed to lock a digital copy of a film to a particular PC but with Star Wars the problem was that the pirates had stitched various trailers together. There are a number of ways the pirates work and the problem won't just disappear," he said.

Venture capital firm Redbus is currently working on a platform for secure delivery of films on the Internet. Chairman Cliff Stanford believes broadband will be key to this but is confident copyright can be protected. "As people get faster access, so the protection technology will come. As soon as the problems occur, so will the solutions," he said.

What is the solution? Is there a problem?

October the 26th. That's the day that Sony PlayStation 2 invades the UK and America. PlayStation 2 and competing programs will turn your TV into an email-delivering, DVD-playing, Internet-surfing home entertainment centre. Go with Jesse Berst to read the news comment at AnchorDesk UK.

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