U.K. film industry under piracy attack

Callum McDougall warns of implications

LONDON -- Copyright theft is threatening to bring the British film industry down "like a house of cards,” according to "Quantum of Solace" executive producer Callum McDougall.

McDougall, speaking to industry reps gathered for the annual general meeting of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, said the movie biz here is likely to collapse if the sale of "knock off" DVDs and illegal downloading continues to grow at the current pace.

James Bond producer McDougall pointed to the potential cost to the U.K. in terms of both employment and revenue by highlighting the scale of projects often made here.

"In the U.K., we are often referred to as a cottage industry -- and I just think this is a total misconception. Three out of the four Indiana Jones films and 20 out of 22 of the James Bond films were made in the U.K. with British studios, facilities, crew and talent."

He said that movies such as the Bond franchise "fund training schemes for film technicians of the future, and working on films themselves provides a great training ground for budding directors and cinematographers... if there’s no money there for films to be made, it’s like a house of cards, it all comes tumbling down."

Industry Trust director general Liz Bales noted the scale of piracy here. "One in three people were involved in a form of copyright theft last year," she said.