Piracy Cost Studios $6 Billion in ’05, Study Says

Los Angeles Times report

Hollywood’s major studios lost $6.1 billion to film theft in 2005, according to a Motion Picture Assn. of America study.The global survey of piracy, which examined how much revenue the studios lost through bootleg movies and illegal Internet downloads, found that the bulk of theft — about $4.8 billion — occurred internationally, with China, Russia and Mexico the worst offenders.

Of the $6.1 billion, $3.8 billion was lost to bootlegging and illegal copying, while Internet piracy cost the industry $2.3 billion, according to the study. Among the more notorious examples occurred last year when an illegal copy of “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith” appeared on the Internet before its big-screen premiere.The study by LEK Consulting is the first of its kind commissioned by the MPAA, whose previous surveys of the problem did not encompass Internet piracy.

So the studios’ legal campaigns are really working, then.