For immediate release Nov. 16, 2004
STUDIOS FILE FIRST WAVE OF SUITS AGAINST ONLINE ILLEGAL FILE TRADERS TWO MORE ANTI-PIRACY INITIATIVES UNVEILED
Video Software Dealers Association alliance brings anti-piracy trailers and information to thousands of stores Free software will give computer users new tool to help identify peer-to-peer applications and list all movie and music titles on their hard drive WASHINGTON, D.C. — The initial wave of lawsuits targeting online traders of illegally copied films has been filed in courts throughout the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America Inc. announced today. The civil suits against individual infringers cover copyright violations on major P2P networks and seek damages and injunctive relief. “The motion-picture industry must pursue legal proceedings against people who are stealing our movies on the Internet,” said MPAA President and CEO Dan Glickman. “The future of our industry, and of the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports, must be protected from this kind of outright theft using all available means.” Under the Copyright Act, an individual can be liable for as much as $30,000 for each motion picture illegally traded over the Internet, and as much as $150,000 per motion picture if such infringement is proven to be willful. MPAA Announces Two Additional Initiatives “Litigation alone is not the solution,” Glickman emphasized, “but it is part of a broader MPAA effort that includes education and new technological tools among other components. That’s why I’m pleased to announce a public-outreach partnership with the Video Software Dealers Association and the availability shortly of free software to help people determine what music and movie files and P2P applications are on their computers.” The VSDA’s members will bring the MPAA’s anti-piracy ad campaign, “Rated I: Inappropriate for All Ages,” to approximately 10,000 video stores nationwide. Beginning in December, those stores will play anti-piracy trailers on in-store monitors and display anti-piracy posters and counter cards.
MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
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“Video retailers are threatened with significant losses from illegal online file trading of movies and bootleg copies sold on the streets,” VSDA President Bo Andersen said. “A key element of the strategy to confront this growing threat to our industry is to educate the public and change the culture from one of lawlessness to one of respect for the work and property of others. With their neighborhood locations and strong customer relationships, video stores are in an excellent position to educate millions of consumers about the problem and consequences of movie piracy.” Similar “Rated I” material has been featured in recent months in theaters, newspapers, magazines and on the Internet. The trailers - “Street Vendor,” which deals with hardgoods piracy, and “Downloader,” which addresses online piracy - will alternate monthly for an indefinite period. The posters and counter cards will feature messages - “Parental Guidance Suggested” and “You Can Click, But You Can’t Hide” - that the MPAA unveiled earlier this year. “Movie piracy is not a victimless crime and the victims are not limited to just one industry,” said Glickman. “We are proud to join with the VSDA in extending educational efforts against a problem that affects both our industries.” Software to Eliminate Illegal Files Available Shortly The MPAA also announced the availability soon of a free program that identifies movie and music titles stored on a computer, along with any installed peer-to-peer file-swapping programs. Information generated by the program would be made available only to the program’s user, and would not be shared with or reported to the MPAA or any other body. Armed with the program’s findings, a computer user can remove infringing movies or music files, and remove any P2P applications. “Our ultimate goal is to help consumers locate the resources and information they need to make appropriate decisions about using and trading illegal files,” said Glickman. “Many parents are concerned about what their children have downloaded and where they’ve downloaded it from. They will find this tool to be an excellent resource. ” The MPAA’s www.respectcopyrights.org site will link to the download site for the Windows-compatible program when it becomes available. The MPAA plans to provide easy access to other such tools in coming months, as demand continues to grow for programs that protect computers from the deleterious effects of peer-to-peer software, including such common problems as viruses, Trojan horses and identity theft. “These initiatives are part of our efforts to ensure the Digital Age does not get commandeered by thieves who see it as an open grab bag,” Glickman said. “The motionpicture industry is embracing Digital Age technologies, such as Movielink and CinemaNow, that will create so many exciting new opportunities. But legal services such as these need a chance to grow and thrive without having to compete against illegitimate operations that depend on stolen property to survive.”
Fighting Piracy in Many Ways, Many Places The MPAA also continues to battle piracy in many forms on many fronts. Over the past two months alone, dozens of law-enforcement raids worldwide have shut down numerous hard-goods piracy operations, including: In Los Angeles, 28 street vendors were arrested and more than 19,500 pirated discs were seized. In New York City, 56 street vendors were arrested and more than 4,200 pirated discs were seized. In Philadelphia, 26 street vendors were arrested and more than 4,800 pirated discs were seized. In Santiago, Chile, three raids were conducted against groups with suspected organized-crime ties. Police seized more than 2,000 pirated discs, high-speed burners and other replication equipment. In Manchester, England, a raid netted 4,000 pirated movies, an Uzi submachine gun, three other firearms and three machetes. Also in the UK, more than 92,900 pirated DVDs from Malaysia were seized at Heathrow Airport, part of more than 320,000 pirated discs seized in that country during September. So far this year, more than 2.1 million pirated discs have been seized in the United Kingdom. In Germany, after a year-long investigation, eight locations were raided and four individuals were arrested, shutting down that country’s largest pirate website, which had 45,000 paying subscribers. In Iceland, 12 recent raids targeted administrators of three DC++ hubs. Seven people were arrested and computers with more than 11 terabytes of copyrighted material were seized. The raids temporarily reduced Internet traffic in and out of Iceland by more than 50 percent. In China, a raid in Guangdong province resulted in the seizure of two replication lines, two printing machines and 120,000 pirated movies. Hong Kong police raided a major crime organization, resulting in 1,570 arrests and massive seizures, including 160,000 pirated movies.
The MPAA also has moved on numerous fronts to fight the illegal camcording in theaters of motion pictures, a major source of the original pirated movie files found online. The MPAA has backed enactment of anti-camcording laws in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The MPAA has created customized versions of its anti-piracy trailers for theaters in 26 countries. The MPAA also has joined with the National Association of Theater Owners to create a rewards program for theater employees who identify and halt illegal camcording. About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. serves as the voice and advocate of the U.S. motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. These members include: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution; Metro-GoldwynMayer Studios Inc.; Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
### CONTACT: Rich Taylor MPAA Washington DC (202) 293-1966 Matthew Grossman MPAA Los Angeles (818) 995-6600 3