I met Will Nix, former head of the Motion Picture Association’s Anti-Piracy program, while researching my book on trademark counterfeiting. He provided invaluable information, including speeches he had presented and personal interviews about the MPAA’s piracy problem. He was instrumental in establishing the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) in 1983 to battle what was a huge piracy problem in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. London was the center of motion picture piracy with an estimated eighty percent of the market gone pirate. Belgium was an estimated 70 to 75 percent; Ireland 50 percent. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, a Steven Spielberg film and one of the most popular films of all time, was never legitimately released on video cassette in any country outside the United States because of piracy.
Today FACT is the UK’s leading trade organization to protect and represent the intellectual property rights of its members’ intellectual property (IP). The creative industries support 1.7 million jobs in the UK and account for over 5% of the UK economy.
FACT has many innovative programs, like the Fact Certification Scheme, which currently covers over 110 companies of all sizes and is administered by FACT on behalf of its members. Businesses wishing to provide services to the audio-visual industry must satisfy members they have sufficiently high levels of security in order to safeguard the intellectual property rights of FACT.