MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is planning to launch a national anti-camcording campaign in partnership with the China Film Copyright Association (CFCA) and the China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association (CFDEA).
The campaign will focus on raising public awareness of camcording threats to the movie industry, as well as on educating theater staff on deterrent techniques.
The campaign and its timing effectively address two key market conditions: the growing proliferation of camcorded movies now being distributed on the Internet and 3G mobile platforms; and the holiday season, the time when most major Hollywood blockbuster movies will make their premieres, now increasingly with day-and-date releases.
Though China’s movie piracy rate is among the world’s highest, historically the country’s camcording activities have not been viewed as a priority issue by the industry. But with more day-and-date releases, the problem has become a bigger concern for MPA member companies, as well as for domestic movie makers. The Chinese New Year marks the release of major, local Hesui (New Year’s celebration) movies, which count on big box office returns as a substantial portion of the industry’s overall yearly revenue.
"We are seeing an increasing number of camcorded versions of our member companies’ films on the Internet being traced to China. More than 90% of newly released movies that appear illegally on the streets and on Internet sites originate from illicit copies made in cinemas. By working with our Chinese counterparts to increase public awareness and to fight illegal activities that hurt both MPA member companies and domestic businesses, we seek to strike at the root of a mounting problem," said MPA president and managing director Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.
China currently lacks anti-camcording laws that would allow law enforcement to prosecute guilty parties, so heightened public awareness and compliance is a key campaign strategy. A series of posters will feature several dozen of the country’s top actors, actresses and directors, calling for a stop to camcording, as well as the illegal replication and distribution of movies. Along with the poster’s distribution to major cinema circuits, both the CFCA and CFDEA will use their leverage with exhibitors to issue letters that will include camcord prevention tips.
"We mean to encourage theater managers and employees to be extra vigilant during this holiday season. Close cooperation between movie makers, distributors and authorities will help prevent illegal camcording," said CFCA chairman Zhu Yongde.
"We are fighting on the same side of a common battle, and as a result our dialogue with the domestic industry has been increasingly close and productive," said Ellis.
This is the most recent campaign to follow on from the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between MPA and CFCA entered into on 26 October, at the 2nd China International Copyright Expo.