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Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Japan Introduces Anti-camcording Law

Japan introduced a legislation that criminalizes the recording of movies in cinemas.

The Law Concerning Prevention of the Unauthorized Photographing of Cinematographic Works, which was passed by Japan?s Diet in late May and came into effect today, bars the use of a recording device in a cinema, enabling law enforcement authorities to arrest and prosecute camcorder pirates under the country?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.

"The 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," said Mike Ellis, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association.

"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."

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.

A study aimed at producing a more accurate picture of the impact that piracy has on the film industry including, for the first time, losses due to internet piracy, recently calculated that the MPA studios lost US$6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005.

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