In 2004, the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) set out to complete a study on film piracy through the L.E.K. consulting group. The goal of this study is to asses the film industry's U.S. and international losses, as well as the specific demographics who are to blame for the rise in film piracy. The resulting statistics are the most in depth to date, in 2004, and focus on three main issues: the losses incurred because of both internet and hard goods piracy, the cost that piracy inflicts upon both domestic and international industries, and a demographic overview of the typical piracy culprit. According to the the findings in this study, MPAA studios lost $6.1 billion because of piracy in 2005. 62% of the $6.1 billion comes from piracy of hard goods, such as DVD's, and 38% comes from internet piracy. Out of the $6.1 billion, $4.8 billion was lost to international piracy, and $1.3 billion to United States piracy. The MPAA further breaks down the loss noting that, approximately $2.4 billion was lost to bootlegging, $1.4 billion to illegal copying, and $2.3 billion to internet piracy. Demographically, the average piracy perpetrator is a 16 to 24 year old urban dwelling male. Specifically, College students located in the U.S., Korea, and Hungary are extremely high contributors to film piracy. The 16 to 24 year old age range accounts for 71% of people who are downloading film. The MPAA's statistical breakdown gives hard evidence as to how prevalent film piracy has in fact become. It also helps to pinpoint the greater effect such piracy has on the Hollywood and worldwide film industries. In addition, the new statistical information provided forces policy makers and policy enforcers to regard film piracy as an important and substantial issue.
Kerry Segrave's book Film Piracy in the Motion Picture Industry dedicates its entirety to my topic. Segrave's research though, extends significantly farther back into the history of film than I will be including in my analysis. She provides a wide berth of information about past and present domestic film issues as well as specific international ones. Chapters 6, "Domestic Piracy, 1975-2001," and 7, "Foreign Piracy, 1975 to 2001," are laden with the utmost pertinent material for my research. In these two chapters, Segrave goes into exquisite detail, not only providing an enormity of statistics, but also documenting vast amounts of specific legal action taken to prevent film piracy over sixteen years. Segrave's in depth method of relaying information allows me to get more than just a surface level understanding of Hollywood's constant struggle concerning film piracy. Her attention to detail regarding legislative measures and the strategic moves made by Hollywood to suppress piracy will add substantial support to my own analysis.