LA County Board of Supervisors approves ordinance for piracy

Mumbai: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a new ordinance designed to hold property owners accountable for the manufacture and sale of pirated movies and music on their premises. The ordinance, approved yesterday, expands the definition of nuisance properties to include those that are used to illegally manufacture and sell recordings and audiovisual works.

"This ordinance is an important milestone in our efforts to curb piracy in Los Angeles. The City and County of Los Angeles have taken the reigns of the Los Angeles Anti-Piracy Task force and have provided tremendous leadership on this issue. In its approval of this ordinance, the Board of Supervisors have officially recognized that piracy isn’t just an industry problem, but one that has a significant impact on the local economy as well. We are extremely appreciative of Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s efforts to gain support for this ordinance," said MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.

Said RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol, "The City of Los Angeles serves as a music mecca that thrives and relies on the contributions of the entertainment industries. Strong protection of intellectual property is necessary in order to maintain its vibrancy and economic health. This ordinance gives new teeth to a comprehensive effort to reduce counterfeiting and piracy – which costs thousands of local jobs and millions of dollars in revenue – throughout the City and County. We thank Supervisor Yaroslavsky for his continuing leadership on these issues, as well as the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors and County Counsel for their efforts."

In 2005, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), music and movie companies based in Los Angeles County lost an estimated $5.2 billion as a result of the sale of counterfeit goods. The black market for these goods diverted $2 billion from the legitimate retail sector right here in Los Angeles. These crimes cost the County of Los Angeles approximately 106,000 jobs and at least $483 million in state and local revenue.

"At the end of the day, these counterfeiters and pirates are stealing other people’s creative labor, abridging their rights and destroying their intellectual property value. And when you peddle those stolen intellectual goods out on the street, it’s no different than highway robbery," said County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavksy.

The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lost $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy – more than $11 billion of which is attributed to hard goods piracy including bootlegging and illegal copying.

According to a recent report on music piracy, global theft of sound recordings cost the U.S. economy $12.5 billion in lost revenue and more than 71,000 jobs and $2 billion in wages to U.S. workers. Global losses from physical piracy to the U.S. sound recording industry, according to the report, are estimated to be more than $1.6 billion annually.