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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 13, 2006

 

MPAA, NATO, cmpda & MPTAC LAUNCH FIGHTFILMTHEFT.ORG TO FIGHT ILLEGAL CAMCORDING IN THEATERS

 

New Website Offers Tips for Theater Employees to Identify and Stop Camcording Movie Thieves

 

Los 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. and Canada.  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 illegal downloading.

 

“Theater 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.” 

 

“Camcorder 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.

 

“The launch of this new training tool in the U.S. and Canada 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 Kingdom, Germany, and Mexico 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 countries. 

 

“Studios 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

 

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For more information, contact:

 

MPAA  Los Angeles
Kori Bernards or Michelle Greeno
(818) 995-6600
CMPDA
Serge Corriveau
1-800-363-9166
MPAA Washington, D.C.
John Feehery or Gayle Osterberg
(202) 294-1966
MPTAC
Adino Lebo
(416) 969-7057                                 
NATO
John Fithian or Kendrick Macdowell
(202) 962-0054



Facts About Camcorder Piracy

 

The 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.

 

Enforcement 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.

 

Among the current measures to mitigate the level of illegal camcording activity are: 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: www.mpaa.org and www.respectcopyrights.org        


CONTACT US:


E-mail                                     hotline@mpaa.org   


United States
                       1-800-371-9884 (report Camcording)

           1-800-NO-COPYS (everything but Camcording)

                                                 

 

Canada                                  1-800-371-9884 (report Camcording)

                                                1-800-363-9166

 

Europe, Middle East, Africa 322-778-2711 (MPA Brussels Office)

 

Asia - Pacific                         +65-6253-1033

 

Latin America                        +52-55-5566-4459

 

MPAA Public Affairs             818-995-6600 (Encino) or 202-293-1966 (DC)

 

 

 

About the MPAA

The 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.