MPAA URGES TOUGHER INTERNATIONAL ENFORCEMENT OF IP PROTECTIONS AS CONGRESS UNVEILS 2010 PRIORITY WATCH LIST

WASHINGTON—MPAA President and Interim CEO Bob Pisano joined lawmakers today in unveiling the five countries on the 2010 priority watch list of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus (IAPC), calling on governments around the world to develop and enforce remedies to deal with the mounting global problem of intellectual property theft. The five countries placed on the IAPC’s 2010 watch list are Canada, China, Mexico, Russia, and Spain.

“I sincerely appreciate the work of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus and its recognition of the problems posed by global piracy. These members’ efforts are essential to motivating governments to take action. I look forward to our continued work together to promote copyright protection and the enforcement of intellectual property rights,” Pisano said.
The bipartisan and bicameral IAPC, created in 2003 and now led by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), is committed to protecting American intellectual property and reducing the scourge of piracy abroad.

“More than 2.4 million people work in the US motion picture and television industry all across the nation, earning over $41 billion in wages,” Pisano said. “These are creative, good-paying jobs — including costume designers, truck drivers, stage crews, actors, architects, directors and accountants, who face the relentless challenge to their livelihoods from IP theft. Overseas markets are vital to the motion picture industry’s continued strength and success. The industry has a $13.6 billion trade surplus. A high level of piracy, especially as seen in the countries on the watch list, is detrimental to any country’s economic growth. The increasing scourge of online copyright theft underscores the need for all governments to develop and vigorously enforce effective legislative solutions to address online piracy and to encourage greater inter-industry cooperation in the fight against it. In today’s digital marketplace, the theft and illicit online distribution of creative content in these major markets affects and health and viability of creative industries around the world.

“For instance, Canada lacks the basic protections for the digital environment and is a safe haven for Internet pirates. Amendments to Canada’s Copyright Act to implement the WIPO Internet treaties and clarify ISPs role in discouraging copyright infringement are vital to the development of new business models and to fostering legitimate electronic commerce. In Spain, Internet piracy has reached an epidemic level, damaging both US and Spanish creators. Legislation is currently pending in Spain that would address Spain’s rampant online piracy problem and I hope that the government continues to press forward and that the legislation is not weakened during the forthcoming Parliamentary journey.

“The United States is a world leader in producing creative products and the integrity and development of our cultural industries is dependent upon effective legislative and enforcement regimes that protect intellectual property. Our challenge is to convince those other trading partners that continue to allow piracy to fester unchecked that their economies are being hurt, that their creative industries are suffering, and that their GDP and job growth is stunted by their failure to take this issue seriously.”