Monday, May 14, 2007


The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Singapore’s Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) today launched a new anti-piracy movie trailer aimed at raising awareness of illegal movie camcording in cinemas, a practice that threatens the future of the movie industry.

Officiating at the launch of the MPA-produced trailer, which will be screened prior to feature film presentations in more than 180 cinemas nationwide, was Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee.

Pirate camcording is particularly damaging because it typically occurs at the very start of the movie distribution cycle, affecting the economic opportunities for the film throughout its existence.

Films typically are camcorded in the first few days of their release, then distributed in digital form worldwide on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and via other online outlets. Optical disc replication labs use the stolen films to create pirated optical discs, which are then distributed to bootleg dealers around the world.

During the past 12 months, 20 instances of camcording have been reported or forensically matched to cinemas in the Asia-Pacific region. Worldwide, camcorded copies comprise around 90 percent of early release pirate discs.

“This new trailer rides on the success of the previous one seen by millions in Singapore each time they go to the cinema,” said Associate Professor Ho. “I understand that the previous trailer was found to have been highly effective in reaching out to the public, according to findings in a recent survey commissioned by IPOS. But we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to reinforce the message, doing it in a manner that resonates with the public.”

“The Singapore government has done an exemplary job in intellectual property rights law enforcement and education, but the public has an important role to play in the fight against copyright theft, stepping up to recognize and reject criminal behavior,” said Mike Ellis, Mike Ellis, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association. “If movie pirates cannot find buyers for their goods, movie piracy will die.

“Movie piracy hurts not only the companies that produce entertainment, but also the local companies that make it possible for movie fans to see that entertainment. Local jobs are lost and local economies are hurt when governments are unable to collect taxes. The trailer released today is aimed at reminding consumers that piracy is criminal activity, and harms creative industry and society.”

The trailer launch came on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the MPA’s Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore in 1982.

Piracy in Asia
A comprehensive study aimed at producing a more accurate picture of the impact that piracy has on the film industry including, for the first time, losses due to internet piracy, recently calculated that the MPA studios lost US$6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005. About US$2.4 billion was lost to bootlegging*, US$1.4 billion to illegal copying* and US$2.3 billion to Internet piracy. Of the US$6.1 billion in lost revenue to the studios, approximate $1.2 billion came from piracy across the Asia-Pacific region, while piracy in the U.S. accounted for $1.3 billion.
In 2006, the MPA’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 30,000 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 12,400 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of more than 35 million illegal optical discs, 50 factory optical disc production lines and 4,482 optical disc burners, as well as the initiation of more than 11,000 legal actions.

*Bootlegging: Obtaining movies by either purchasing an illegally copied HS/DVD/VCD or acquiring hard copies of bootleg movies.
*Illegal copying: Making illegal copies for self or receiving illegal copies from friends of a legitimate VHS/DVD/VCD
*Internet piracy: Obtaining movies by either downloading them from the Internet without paying or acquiring hard copies of illegally downloaded movies from friends or family.

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