Illegal recording: How is it done?

The on-going rise in ‘day & date’ global releasing brings a heightened risk of illegal recordings in UK cinemas. English language versions are in constant demand.

Ever-smaller digital devices – smartphones as well as other types of camcorder – are used to steal films directly from cinema screens.

The pirated content is acquired not just by ‘release groups’ for online distribution, but also by organised crime networks who illegally produce and sell counterfeit discs.

Release groups are formed of individuals who acquire pirated content from thieves recording illegally in cinemas. They tend to be the first source of piracy on the web.

Sophisticated groups can combine the digital video stolen from one cinema with the audio sourced from another cinema. Audio-only theft can be particularly challenging to prevent.

With IMAX and 3D experiences continuing to rise, these screenings too are vulnerable to opportunistic thieves.