from the not-bad dept
Much of the way the movie industry looks to combat film piracy will seem familiar to readers of this site. It typically involves shakedown threat letters, games of DMCA whac-a-mole, and a paint-by-numbers approach that mostly amounts to film studios shaking their lawyers' fists at the sky. All that produces the status quo, where piracy is still a thing, films still make gobs of money, and regular observers of it all are left scratching our heads wondering how so much noise could be made over it all.
But I will give credit where credit is due as Costa Rican film distributor Romaly deserves some style and creativity points for its new anti-piracy tactic.
Romaly has employed an extremely creative tactic to reach out to would-be pirates. Their work can be seen over at LegalTorrents.net, a site that has clearly been modeled on one of the most famous torrent indexes ever. As the screenshot below shows, it is a semi-convincing KickassTorrents clone with a similar logo, color scheme and word cloud.
Here's how nice a job Romaly did in dressing the site up to look like KAT.
And the torrents on the site are actually real, except they aren't torrents for the actual movies in question. Instead, the downloads play trailers for those movies along with messaging about how piracy has a negative impact on the film industry. But the coup de grace is the inclusion of an email address where the downloader can request two free movie tickets for the film they attempted to pirate.
The cloning of a torrent site feels a little shady, but it also feels somewhat innocuous. The attempt to educate pirates that piracy is bad is also rather "meh", as that's been tried before. But attempting to build up some goodwill in the form of getting downloaders to the theaters is actually pretty smart, relying on positive actions rather than threats and tales of doom and gloom.
“With the creation of our own torrent download page we seek to approach all those who try to carry out this type of illegal action and create awareness on the subject through positive reinforcement,” says Alonso Solís, marketing manager of Romaly.
“By providing tickets we want you to remember that cinema is an experience that goes beyond a computer. In the cinema, people enjoy an entertainment space that allows them to get rid of their occupations and dedicate one or two hours to themselves.”
That's the kind of thing we've been saying for years, in fact, and it's something the movie industry should be pushing on even harder. Now, it's worth noting that the folks at TorrentFreak attempted to put this whole concept through its paces and found a lot left to be desired. It seems the seeds on these torrents are limited, resulting in failed downloads all over the place. That sort of defeats the purpose of the educational information and the free tickets.
Still, points for the effort, and for trying to forge a connection with downloaders rather than relying on the mere shaking of legal fists.