New research reveals kids' summer of illegal downloads is a disturbing sight for young eyes
- One in five children and teens disturbed by content they have watched via illegal sites
- Half spending an hour each day watching films via smartphones and tablets over the summer
- Parents encouraged to take advantage of free digital tools to keep kids legal and safe online
Holby City actress and mum of three, Tina Hobley is urging parents to keep an eye on what their kids are watching online this summer, as new research released today reveals children and teens across the country are downloading or streaming films from illegal pirate websites, with many disturbed by what they are viewing.
One in five young film fans (18%) admit they have been disturbed by the movies they have watched on pirate websites and two thirds (65%) wish they had checked the film’s official age rating first.
While almost half of children and teens (42%) admit to being aware of rules in place at home designed to restrict what they can and can’t look at on the internet, the research commissioned by The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, in partnership with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), shows a quarter (25%) download or stream movies from unofficial sources, which offer no guidance on age ratings.
The online study asked 1,000 UK 11-15-year-olds about their online viewing habits:
• A third (37%) of younger children aged 11-12 admit to having recently downloaded or streamed a film rated 15 from a pirate website
• One in five 11-15 year olds (21%) say they use pirate websites to keep up with what their friends and older siblings are watching
• More than a quarter of 11-15 year olds (27%) say their parents don’t know what films they are watching online, and a third (32%) wouldn’t feel comfortable with younger siblings copying their viewing habits
With nearly half (45%) of 11-15 year olds spending up to an hour each day watching movies-on-the-move via smartphones and tablets during the summer holidays, parents are being encouraged to take advantage of free tools and advice to help them take control of what their children are watching and to visit FindAnyFilm.com to find films safely and legally online.
Actress and mum of three, Tina Hobley, said:
“As a mum, I know how excited my kids get at the thought of watching the movies they love during the holidays, but I also know how tough it is to keep tabs on what they are downloading or streaming online. This research shows peer pressure is tempting kids to visit illegal websites for their film fixes even though they know these websites are off limits, and many are clearly upset by the content they stumble upon. Portable smartphones and tablet devices mean children and teens will often be watching films away from the safety of the front room this summer, which is why I’m urging parents to know how to access film and TV content online safely and legally, and check out the tools and help that are available.”
Responding to the research, Lucy Brett, Head of Education for the BBFC, said:
"There is a wealth of free digital tools and advice available for parents and children to take advantage of so they feel confident about their family accessing films safely and legally online. FindAnyFilm.com, the easy-to-use gateway to legitimate film, now carries BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight, so families know what they are accessing is not only from above board and safe sources, but that they have at their fingertips information which allows parents to make informed decisions about the right film choices for them and their families.”
“BBFCinsight highlights the main issues found in a film then expands on this, giving examples of the sorts of things you will see or hear, which may include violence, bad language and sex references. Parents can use FindAnyFilm.com or the BBFC website and free BBFC App for smartphones for information about a film before they download or stream them. Having this information available all in one place and talking to your children about how films are rated can help them stay safe and legal online this summer.”
Liz Bales, Director General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, added:
“Public concern around what children are watching online has never been higher, making age-appropriate guidance even more critical. The film and TV industry believes education has a role to play. We provide tools to educate families around legitimate and age-appropriate source of film and enable parents and guardians to talk to their children to help them navigate the online landscape safely and legally.”
For more information about watching films safely and legally and to find recognised ratings and BBFCinsight information, visit www.FindAnyFilm.com.
Top tips for parents
1. Find official films safely and legally. Start by visiting www.FindAnyFilm.com – a one stop-shop where you can find all films, all above board, and all with BBFC age ratings and BBFCinsight to help you make informed decisions for you and your family.
2. Get to grips with all the BBFC age ratings. You can find a guide to age ratings at http://www.bbfc.co.uk/what-classification. You know your family and your children best –children develop at different speeds and react differently to things they watch. It’s worth bearing in mind that a PG is suitable for children aged around eight or older and when the BBFC rate a film 12 or 12A this means it is suitable for 12 year olds, but a parent can decide if a 12A is suitable for a younger child.
3. Explore how to use parental controls. Check the settings on the tablets and smartphones that your kids are using – you can set up access controls which allow you to decide if you want films with certain ratings to be password protected and block certain websites. If you’re not sure how, contact your Internet Service Provider who will be able to help
4. Start them young! Kids have a great appreciation for films and TV, and the younger they are when they understand why films have to be given age-ratings and why it’s important to access films via legal channels, the safer they will be when it comes to watching films online.
5. Do your research. Remember that some films are rated U or PG because they contain no material that is unsuitable at that category, but they might not necessarily be a children’s film. The film GONE WITH THE WIND (PG) is a good example. This classic Hollywood film is rated PG but it isn’t just for children.
About the research
The online study was conducted by ResearchBods and polled 1,000 children aged 11-15 in July 2013.
About The BBFC
The BBFC is an independent, private, not-for-profit company which classifies films, video on all physical formats (DVD and Blu-ray Disc for example) and certain video games, advertisements and trailers. The BBFC operates transparent, well-understood and trusted co-regulatory and self-regulatory classification regimes, such as its digital video service, based on years of expertise and published Guidelines which reflect public opinion and the risk of harm; and is accountable to Parliament.
FindAnyFilm.com is one of the UK's leading websites for film fans looking to watch, buy, download, stream or rent legitimate film. Operated by The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, the website offers 40,000 films across all formats, from cinema to DVD and Blu-ray, as well as download and streaming services. Visitors can search by title and talent, and can sort their results by format and price.
About The Industry Trust for IP Awareness
The Industry Trust is the UK film, TV and video industry’s consumer education body, promoting the value of copyright and creativity. Its consumer awareness programmes address the on-going challenge of film and TV copyright infringement by inspiring audiences to value great movie moments and choose to watch film, TV and video via legitimate sources. Industry funded, their work aims to engage three distinct audience groups: young people, 16-34-year-old men; and parents, providing extensive insight around audience attitudes and understanding of intellectual property. For more information on the Industry Trust’s work, visit www.industrytrust.co.uk.
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