Pirates of the UK have this morning been issued with a stern warning. Walking into a cinema next month with the intent of recording the latest Bond film ‘Spectre’ and uploading it to the Internet will prove a particularly hazardous occupation.
That’s according to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the anti-piracy group that looks after Hollywood’s interests in the UK and had a key hand in the arrest of a ‘cammer’ just last Friday.
Due to the national and international importance of Bond’s latest outing, FACT have issued a somewhat unusual proactive anti-piracy statement, presumably to deter would-be pirates from leaking the movie.
“James Bond is a big risk and we will be working with cinema operators and the distributors making sure we will keep that as tight as possible. We really don’t want to see that recorded,” says FACT director general Kieron Sharp.
“The bigger the film and the more anticipated it is, the higher risk it is. We have staff on extra alert for that. They are on alert, particularly with the bigger films like James Bond, to really drill down to who is in the auditorium and who might possibly be recording.”
One of the measures being employed is the use of night-vision goggles. The devices have been in use in the UK, US and elsewhere for several years and are extremely useful when trying to spot the telltale ‘glow’ and other lighting that emanates from mobile phones, camcorders and other recording devices.
Even when most of the glow is obscured, night vision goggles still allow suspicious seating arrangements and cloaking mechanisms to be observed at a distance and then tackled, either during the performance or when a suspected pirate attempts to leave.
While FACT are always keen to deter pirates, why the special fuss over Bond? The profile of the movie and its commercial importance are obviously key factors since Spectre is likely to be one of the biggest box-office hits this year. Bond is also something of a British icon, so protecting that image will be important to the filmmakers. But there is another element that isn’t being discussed.
Spectre is enjoying its world premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Monday October 26. With stars Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz attending alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry it’s probably a safe bet that it won’t be pirated then. However, on the very same day the movie will be released nationwide and other locations will provide much greater opportunity.
The real surprise here is that UK pirates are being given almost two weeks to record Spectre and begin online distribution before it hits cinemas in the United States and the rest of the world on November 6. That probably goes a long way to explaining why FACT are being forced to implement extraordinary security measures – a U.S. pre-release is exactly what the anti-piracy group is trying to avoid.
But why take the chance that someone slips through the net? Hollywood knows that these windows fuel ‘camming’ yet MGM and Columbia are apparently prepared to risk “the most damaging form of piracy” by leaving the entire world dangling for 12 days while potentially millions of illicit copies of Spectre float around the Internet.
It makes very little sense. Why not have the premiere in London immediately followed by a worldwide release, thereby fulfilling customer demand and soothing notoriously impatient pirates? Of course, other scheduling factors could be at play, but if ‘cam’ piracy is as serious as the studios claim, why take unnecessary risks?
“Security measures are adopted for all new releases to protect from piracy,” a FACT spokesperson told TorrentFreak.
“Together with industry we work towards heightening awareness for films that are predicted to be of higher risk and sometimes additional security measures are put in place.”