Thursday, October 28, 2004

Film Article |

Film Article |

Not something I necessarily agree with, but here's what the MPAA thinks.

By Jesse Hiestand
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Movie piracy could sap the industry of $15 billion over the next four years if bold measures are not taken immediately, the Motion Picture Assn. of America's anti-piracy chief said Thursday.

MPAA senior vp John Malcolm told a luncheon panel at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce that the film business could suffer the same losses that the music business has unless civil and criminal actions, coupled with aggressive public outreach, do not stem the growth of illegal file trading and worldwide DVD bootlegging.

"If that happens, it means there are a lot of people in the film industry that will be out of work and out of luck," Malcolm told the crowd of about 150 at the Roosevelt Hotel.

Ronald Wheeler, senior vp content protection at Fox Entertainment Group, said the studios are trying to harness emerging technologies like peer-to-peer file trading, the legitimacy of which could be enhanced by using filtering software to block infringement.

"The good news is that at the end of the day, this can be done -- it's not an intractable problem," Wheeler said. "Technology can be our friend, not just a foe."

Citing industry figures, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn said that 92% of the movies made available for illegal downloading originate from camcording in a theater. As a result, Hahn noted the city's effort to criminalize such videotaping as well as arrest people for street-level sales of bootleg DVDs.

"To have all this work just ripped off by someone is not only aggravating, but if it continues, we won't have an industry -- it will suck the life out of it," Hahn said, noting that entertainment represents a $30 billion slice of the Los Angeles economy, employing about 200,000 people.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


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