FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 13, 2006
NATO, cmpda & MPTAC
LAUNCH FIGHTFILMTHEFT.ORG TO FIGHT ILLEGAL CAMCORDING IN THEATERS
Website Offers Tips for Theater Employees to Identify and Stop
Camcording Movie Thieves
Angeles -- The Motion Picture
Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), the National Association of
Theatre Owners (NATO), The
Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA) and The Motion
Picture Theatre Associations of Canada (MPTAC) today launched FightFilmTheft.org, a new online
theater employee training program in the U.S.
The training program arms theater employees with information on
identifying and preventing illegal recording of films in
theaters. Over 90% of initial releases that are stolen originate
from camcording in theaters. Camcorder pirates usually sell their
recordings to replicating labs that illegally produce DVD movies and
sell them on the streets or they upload them to the Internet for
employees are the first line of defense against this growing criminal
act of piracy,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman. “We are grateful for their efforts
in the fight against film theft.”
piracy is a serious, worldwide problem that hurts not only people who
make the movies and work in theaters, but also consumers, who end up
with bad quality, counterfeit DVDs,” said NATO President and CEO John Fithian.
The FightFilmTheft.org training
program consists of a tutorial and quiz that outline the “who, what,
where” signs of camcording piracy. After completing the quiz,
theater employees in the U.S. are eligible for a
quarterly $300 drawing. Theater employees in the U.S.
are also eligible for the “Take Action!” camcording reward program, a
joint initiative launched by the MPAA and NATO
in September of 2004. The “Take Action!” program offers a $500
reward to theater employees who take appropriate steps to identify and
prevent instances of movie theft in theaters. Since September
2004, theater employees in the United States have
successfully stopped 69 camcording incidents and the program has paid
out rewards to 30 people. A similar $500 reward program exists for
theater employees who take action to stop film theft in Canada.
launch of this new training tool in the U.S.
is part of the MPA’s international strategy to stem piracy at its most
common source,” said MPAA Executive Vice President and
Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations John G. Malcolm. “Pirates beware! We look forward to
partnering with our theater-owner colleagues to develop programs like
it in other countries such as the United
in the weeks and months ahead.”
In the U.S., 38 states and the District of Columbia
have laws against the use of a recording device in a theater, which
enables state and local authorities to arrest and prosecute camcorder
pirates. In 2005, Congress passed and the President signed the
Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, which makes camcording in a
theater a federal felony and establishes new penalties for pirating
works that have not yet been released commercially. First-time
violators can be sentenced up to three years in prison, and fined up to
$250,000. MPA is lobbying for similar legislation in other
and theater owners share a common goal in protecting the movies we love
and this online program will provide an easily accessible way for
theater employees to stop camcorder piracy where they work,” said Doug Frith,
President of CMPDA.
Adina Lebo, Executive
Director of MPTAC, said, “Film
piracy is one of the biggest challenges that exhibitors face today. The
creation of FightFilmTheft.org will give our theater employees the
information and tools they need to be effective on the front line.”
To read more about this
new anti-camcording training program visit www.fightfilmtheft.org.
# # #
For more information,
|MPAA Los Angeles
Kori Bernards or Michelle Greeno
|MPAA Washington, D.C.
John Feehery or Gayle Osterberg
John Fithian or Kendrick
About Camcorder Piracy
MPAA and its member companies are committed to stemming the tide of
piracy. One of the most efficient strategies we employ is to target
piracy at its source— which is mainly illegal theatrical camcording.
efforts, combined with speedy resolution of criminal cases in the court
system, are essential components of our broad approach
to eliminating this plague on the entertainment Industry.
the current measures to mitigate the
level of illegal camcording activity are:
for the US & Canada: In an effort to help theater
employees report criminal activity, the MPAA has established a hotline
that enables the reporting of violations 24 hours a day, seven days a
week: (800) 371-9884.
The hotline provides theater owners with added support and tools they
need to stop piracy as it happens.
Education and Training: Along with informing consumers that
camcorder copies of movies are often illegally sold on the internet by
pirates, the MPAA and its member companies are working with groups such
as the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
and the Motion Picture Theatre
Association of Canada (MPTAC) to train their members how to identify and
report suspicious behavior. This is just one example of a history
of collaboration and partnership with exhibitors; many of whom
supported the wide release of anti-piracy trailers that were
shown in thousands of theaters around the world in 2004.
in Security: The Studios are spending substantial
amounts of money to upgrade movie print security across the country and
have retained security companies to conduct
routine bag examinations and handheld metal detector inspections at
pre-theatrical screenings. Warning signs are also posted prohibiting
camcording and alerting audiences that they might be observed by guards
using night-vision monoculars or other methods. In
addition, the MPAA has significantly increased its resources and
personnel dedicated to camcorder piracy.
- Legislation: In the US, 38 states and the District of Columbia
have laws against the use of a recording device in a theater, which enables state and local
authorities to criminally arrest and prosecute camcorder pirates. The
MPAA continues to work with legislators in numerous states where
additional legislation is being proposed. Last year, the
President signed the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005
(FECA), which makes camcording in a theater a federal felony, and
establishes new penalties for pirating works that have not yet been
released commercially. First-time violators can be sentenced to three
and five years, respectively, for these crimes and fined up to
$250,000. The MPA is working to enact camcord
legislation in Latin America, Europe and Asia
to ensure that the creative efforts of our industry are protected.
Measures to Prevent Camcording: The MPAA’s Office of Technology is
supporting the development of three different technologies that would
greatly reduce the effectiveness of camcorder pirates: “Camcording Jamming Technologies”
that disable camcorders from filming the screen of a theatrically
exhibited film; new forensic
watermarking that allows investigators and law enforcement
to know the exact time, date and actual auditorium of a screening; and
advanced in-theater camcorder
detection that would alert theater owners to individuals
camcording within the auditorium.
MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: www.mpaa.org
1-800-371-9884 (report Camcording)
1-800-NO-COPYS (everything but Camcording)
Middle East, Africa 322-778-2711 (MPA Brussels Office)
Motion Picture Association of America
(MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture,
home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Its members include: Buena
Vista Pictures Distribution; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.;
Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century
Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios, LLP;
and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.