MPAA backs USTR piracy report
By Colin Mann

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has expressed its support for a report produced by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that spotlighted more than 30 Internet and physical markets that exemplify key challenges in the global struggle against piracy and counterfeiting. According to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, piracy and counterfeiting undermine the innovation and creativity that is vital to our global competitiveness. “These notorious markets not only hurt American workers and businesses, but are threats to entrepreneurs and industries around the world,” he said.

In an open letter to the USTR, Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the MPAA pointed out that the six major studios of the MPAA support the US economy by generating billions of dollars from filmed entertainment distributed around the globe. “Notwithstanding this singular achievement, the US motion picture and television industry faces relentless challenges to the integrity of its product, challenges extracting an increasingly unbearable cost. The economic and cultural vitality of the creative industries is one of our nation’s most valuable assets,” asserted the MPAA.

“MPAA supports USTR’s efforts to identify foreign notorious markets. These markets are an immediate threat to legitimate commerce, impairing legitimate markets’ viability and curbing U.S. competitiveness. We strongly support efforts by the US government to work with trading partners to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and, in so doing, protect US jobs,” it declared.

“For all of the workers in our industry and their families, content theft means declining incomes, lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits. Content theft is not a victimless crime. The criminals who profit from the most notorious markets throughout the world threaten the very heart of our industry and in doing so they threaten the livelihoods of the people who give it life. These markets do not represent a problem that lies on the far horizon, they are here now and they are here in volume,” commented Pisano.