MPAA unveils anti video piracy campaign

MUMBAI: Mayor Michael R Bloomberg has unveiled a public awareness campaign featuring a series of print and broadcast advertisements designed to combat the creation, distribution, and sale of illegally recorded films in New York City.

Featuring public service announcements to run on TV and in movie theatres and several bus shelters advertisments, the campaign, launched in association with the Motion Picture Association of America sends the message that movie piracy harms our economy, kills jobs and impacts all New Yorkers, says a release. The mayor has also signed a legislation that strengthens the penalty for illegally videotaping a film from a violation to a misdemeanor with increased jail time. The campaign and bill signing follow the October 2006 announcement of the City’s three-pronged approach to combating piracy: tougher legislation, stepped-up enforcement and increased public awareness.

The broadcast spots feature film clips from movies including last year’s animated film Happy Feet, as they might appear on illegal bootlegged DVDs. NY1, WNBC, WCBS, WABC, Fox-5, WPIX and NYC TV have agreed to run the spots on their stations. Time Warner has agreed to run the PSA on nearly 20 channels in addition to NY1. NYC TV will begin airing the spots on 7 May 2007, with the other channels to follow over the month. In addition, the movie theatre community is supporting this campaign and will be showing the trailer on area screens.

According to a new MPAA commissioned study, the New York motion picture industry suffers an estimated $1.49 billion in lost output annually resulting in 22,986 fewer jobs and $903 million in lost earnings as a consequence of global and local piracy of motion pictures. The MPAA-commissioned study found that $637 million in total annual retail sales in New York are lost due to global and local piracy, resulting in a loss of $50 million in State and City sales taxes. Often taped with camcorders in movie theaters, the MPAA estimates that in 2006, New York City theaters were the origin of 43 per cent of camcorder-source pirated DVDs tracked in the United States, and 20 per cent of pirated movies seized globally.

Using the universally recognizable look and feel of the iconic ratings system, the campaign highlights the inferior quality of illegally videotaped movies, and features unique television spots with a corresponding series of print advertisements asking all New Yorkers to stop film piracy with the slogan “Get the Real Picture: Don’t Buy Illegal DVDs Off The Street.”