Motion Picture Association of American President Bob Pisano refers to rising online copyright infringement as an “epidemic,” and that only by disconnecting file-sharers from the Internet can countries “slow the spread of the disease.”
I always find it fascinating when the MPAA stands before a crowd of bright, intelligent, and critically thinking individuals and proceeds to try and convince them that a wildly successful industry is under immediate threat, and that without decisive and robust action it may be gone forever.
With global ticket sales up some 30% since 2005 you’d think it would have a hard time keeping a straight face when it tells govt officials that it needs their help, and yet it continues to do so at every opportunity.
One of the more recent attempts to encourage increased scrutiny of online infringement is the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) which it managed to convince a group of Senators is necessary to track and shut down “websites devoted to providing access to unauthorized downloads, streaming or sale of copyrighted content and counterfeit goods.”
Critics have blasted the legislation for being tantamount to illegal censorship of the web, particularly being the bill would place unconstitutional prior restraints on speech with inadequate process.
More importantly, the bill would mean the US govt will set a precedent that any country can seize or order the blocking of a domain name if some of the content on the domain (even if located elsewhere) violates the country’s local laws.
Today MPAA President Bob Pisano told a gathering of Japanese govt officials, filmmakers, and music industry reps that their country needs a “three-strikes” system for dealing with the problem as has already been enacted in France, South Korea, Taiwan, and by early next year, the UK.
Pisano referred to the problem as an “epidemic,” and that only by disconnecting people from the Internet could countries hope to “slow the spread of the disease.”
“We know there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to the problem; that there are cultural and practical issues requiring different approaches from one nation or region to another,” he said. “But what we do feel is that the basic belief underlying all of our efforts should be the same — that individual awareness and responsibility are essential if we are to continue to make progress.”
I doubt he told the crowd the MPAA has enjoyed successive years of record breaking profits, not too mention the 30% rise in global ticket sales I mentioned earlier, but shouldn’t it be required to as part of some sort of moral disclosure before it begins demanding that individuals be removed from the “information superhighway?”