Free Music Movies

Reporter: David Richardson

In Australia the research would suggest we've got close to 3 million people downloading over a billion illegal files a year.

It's a crime without borders that's being committed in cyber space every minute of the day but it's costing billions of dollars a year and it's decimating a raft of industries.

It's an absolutely broad spectrum of illegal activity from music to movies to e-books, to games, to software.

Piracy is a disease that's infected suburban markets across the country for decades the evidence table after table of pirated videos, DVD's and CD's

anti-piracy investigators smashed dozens of illegal bootlegging rings but now it's gone high-tech, the internet the tool of choice.

"We have individuals involved in tens of thousands of illegal downloads on a daily basis" said Sabine.

Sabine Heindl runs the Music Industry Piracy investigations trying to stem a tide that is simply overwhelming.

"The difficulty I think in the current environment is we have 95% illegal music on the internet, in that kind of landscape it is incredibly difficult for any commercial model to succeed" said Sabine.

It's not just music, movies are within minutes of release sometimes even before release, stolen, downloaded and sent into cyber-space for people to grab, companies had tried to stop it now one firm believes it has an answer.

"It's designed to be a solution to combat piracy and giving them an option to actually get the content free from somewhere but have it paid for by someone else" said Claes.

For 10 years Claes Loberg has been building a Legal internet site for music lovers allowing free downloads and getting advertisers to foot the bill.

It's resulted in Guvera a databank of 3-million songs, all free with just one catch - all the music downloads come on internet channels run by advertisers.

"The user gets the content 100% free and the advertisers are paying for the content and the advertiser is paying for the full MP3 files that they are getting access to" said Claes.

So if you wanted a song on the McDonald's channel this is what you would get.

A virtual radio station run by McDonalds and paid by McDonalds tailored to people who want the music on their channel.

"We've come up with the concept of reversing the advertising process so instead of advertising being something that disrupts the process of the content we are watching, the advertising is reversed and the advertiser becomes the channel" said Claes.

You can bet if the music site works act two will be movies, games even software but piracy investigators want tougher controls, they want internet service providers slugged for piracy which is exactly what they do in France and Britain.

"This is border protection policy where internet service providers would be sending common sense warning notices to users who are engaged in illegal file sharing, if the person persists in the illegal file sharing then they would ultimately be disconnected or suspended from the internet" said Sabine.

It's clear music companies and Hollywood studios have got a long way to go to beat piracy especially on the internet and while illegal downloads are free people will continue to grab them.

"Can you stop it? Well there's no silver bullet for piracy unfortunately but we do think we can make inroads if we have the co-operation of the internet service providers" said Sabine.

Piracy - It's a crime.