MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association (MPA) welcomed the introduction of legislation that criminalises the recording of movies in cinemas in Japan.
The Law Concerning Prevention of the Unauthorized Photographing of Cinematographic Works, which was passed by Japanâ€™s Diet in late May and came into effect recently, bars the use of a recording device in a cinema, enabling law enforcement authorities to arrest and prosecute camcorder pirates under the countryâ€™s Copyright Law. The law provides for penalties of up to 10 years in prison or a fine up to 10 million yen or both.
â€œThe MPA and our member companies applaud the enactment in Japan of specific anticamcording legislation, which will provide valuable support to law enforcement officials in their efforts to protect intellectual property rights. Camcorder piracy not only costs the movie industry worldwide billions of dollars every year, but also diminishes the enjoyment of the movies for consumers, who may unwittingly purchase counterfeit DVDs that contain poor-quality images and sound,â€ said Motion Picture Association senior vice president and regional director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.
In January, the Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA) â€“ in partnership with the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, the Japan Association of Theater Owners, the Foreign Film Importer-Distributors Association of Japan, and the Japan Video Software Association â€“ submitted to Japanese government a statement supporting the enactment of anti-camcording legislation. JIMCA represents the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in Japan.
Pirate camcording is particularly damaging because it typically occurs at the very start of the distribution cycle, affecting the economic opportunities for the film throughout the rest of its existence. Films typically are camcorded in the first few days of their release, then distributed in digital form worldwide on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and other online outlets. Optical disc-replication labs use the pirated films to create illegal DVDs and other optical discs, then sell the physical copies to bootleg dealers around the world.