As of 4 April, nearly 16,000 have signed a Czech version of the international online petition called “Don’t make me steal”, which asks movie distributors to offer a fair, legal and modern system of online film distribution.
“I promise never to illegally download a movie if there was a legal alternative following the criteria on this page,” the page states in the introduction.
The criteria are rather brief, concerning the price, availability, quality, and law. The key demand for movie producers is the following: create a web portal where movies can be downloaded legally.
The price of a rented film should not exceed one third of the cinema price, the price of a purchased movie should not exceed the cinema price, and monthly flat rate prices should not exceed three visits to the cinema, states the petition.
Also, the petition says that the users should have a right to share subtitles and the movies should be without DRM protection so they could be played on any device.
“There is a digital film distribution system in the Czech Republic,” says Jan Rubeš from MagicBox, a film distribution company. He is referring for example to Voyo.cz, which is essentially an electronic movie archive of the Czech commercial TV Nova, or Topfun.cz. In both sites, the collection of the films offered is rather limited.
“Obtaining the right to sell movies of large producers is not easy, and it costs a lot of money,” Rubeš explains.
The state cannot be expected to help here. “An initiative of this kind should come from distributors, because these projects are private entrepreneurial activities. If they aim at cultural and educational goals, the ministry of culture can provide financial help or formal backing to these projects,” said Andrea Ulagová from the ministry.
Recently, two Australian producers, Enzo Tedeschi and Julian Hervey, decided to distribute their horror movie Tunnel exclusively via torrent sites.