Major entertainment industry players attack piracy

By Steve Mathie
Staff Writer

September 6, 2008

In recent years, the film industry has been making a concerted effort to attack the issue of movie piracy across the world. One of the leading voices in stopping movie pirates has been the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) of America along with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) – an international partner. The two associations recently commenced an international operation to crack down on the issue in the Asia-Pacific region.

The operation consisted of almost 600 raids by law enforcement authorities across 12 Asia-Pacific countries, in which 7.5 million illegal movie discs were recovered. Dubbed Operation Takedown, the action taken by the MPAA and MPA is another step in the right direction to stopping criminals who don’t respect federal law.

The fact that it is lawfully wrong to pirate movies in the many different ways that it is done is not the only reason why piracy is illegal. When someone rips of a movie and turns it into their own profit, it is in no way different that walking into a local movie store and physically stealing a DVD from the shelves. So when someone is breaking the law by pirating a movie, they are also disrespecting the hard work of every individual involved in making the movie and distributing it.

The MPA acts as the representative for six major international production and distribution companies, including: Paramount, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista, Universal and Warner Bros. A recent study showed that these studios lost more than $6 billion to piracy in 2005 alone.

The amount of time and money spent to make a movie is so great that when the entertainment industry is losing so much money to this awful practice of pirating, Hollywood is less likely to make movies if they see how difficult it will be to earn back the amount of money spent on a project. When movies are illegally distributed and made available on the streets and online, people are less likely to go to movies or buy them in the stores.

Any person can help to stop the piracy by restraining themselves from participating in illegal downloads or purchasing copies of movies or television shows that they know are not distributed legally. The pirating takes in forms such as downloadable files and people using camcorders in theatres to make unauthorized recordings.

Anyone who works in a theatre, or any moviegoer that sees illegal actions is capable of doing the right thing by turning that individual in. The Motion Picture Association of America even offers reward of up to $500 for indentifying these patrons.

As with any matter that is illegal by law, it is the job of not only leading advocates in the film industry, but the citizens within the realm of filmmaking to maintain the integrity that makes movies and other productions such a special art. The ongoing fight again piracy will ensure the safety of someone’s personal private work, and help to make sure that Hollywood is able to continue to bring magic to the screen for years to come.

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