Australian Film & TV industry launch IP Awareness Foundation

MUMBAI: Members of the Australian film and television industry have launched the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF) to promote creativity and IP rights and raise awareness and understanding of the importance of copyright.

IPAF members include Australia Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), Motion Picture Association (MPA), theatrical distributors (Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia), home entertainment (Australian Visual Software Distributors Association), exhibitors (Greater Union, Hoyts, Village and independent cinema owners), and Australia’s largest rental chain of local franchised businesses FE Group (Video Ezy & Blockbuster) as well as many in-kind industry contributors.

"We are extremely proud to be a founding member of IPAF. This is a giant step forward for the industry and one that is very timely given the recent news on the rise in piracy in this challenging economic environment. We have always been committed to IP awareness outreach and education, and we completely support this effort to get people to better understand and appreciate the value of the creative community in Australia and the contribution it makes to the country," said MPA president and managing director, Asia Pacific Mike Ellis.

Maureen Barron, an experienced industry executive with over 25 years in the film and production industry, was appointed inaugural chair of the Foundation.

Barron said it was crucial that the industry played a leading role in educating consumers about intellectual property and the importance of protecting creative works. "My experience in the film and production industries has shown me first hand the work that goes into making a film or television show. It is no mean feat and those who dedicate their talents to the field are entitled to see a return on their investment," she said.

"If we don’t protect our creative communities, ensure their long-term ability to create and grow and allow them to realize their work to its full value, we will have less and less people willing to turn their talents to this already difficult business – and then we all lose out. I believe most Australians want to do the right thing. We know that once they become aware that copyright theft is wrong and the detrimental impact it has on the industry, most stop pirating. It will be our job to educate, and to create understanding and appreciation of the value of intellectual property to that end," she added.

The Foundation’s education and awareness campaigns will be aimed at promoting creative communities, providing insight into the workings of the film and TV industry, highlighting the impact of piracy and motivating a change in attitudes and behaviour to reduce public demand for illegal copies of film and television programs.

Activities will include marketing and advertising campaigns, educational resources for schools, corporate campaigns, online education and research.

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