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Report: Copyright Enforcement Needed Outside U.S.

8 May, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

The lack of copyright enforcement outside of the United States remains a major detriment to home entertainment sales, according to a new report from the National Research Council (NRC) Report on Copyright.

“Although copyright law and other remedies under the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] remain an effective tool against infringing services located in the United States, most, if not all illegal services have moved off shore to territories that lack effective enforcement mechanisms making it nearly impossible to slow the proliferation of infringing download and streaming services,” the report reads.

While praising Hollywood for finding more ways to distribute films, “the greatest threat facing the industry is the illegal distribution of movies while still in theaters. This has had the greatest impact on independent filmmakers that have struggled to achieve financial success and reliable financing.”

Michael O’Leary, senior EVP for global policy and external affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America, noted that recent research showed that the shutdown of overseas file-sharing platforms and ad-supported cyberlockers has had a direct, positive impact on home entertainment sales in the United States.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of the research committee, which included Mitch Singer (chief digital strategy officer for Sony Entertainment),” he said. “As the committee noted, ‘the ease of infringing digital copying and distribution often weakens sales and reduces the revenue available to creators.’ A major challenge to all of us is to identify potential avenues of solution, including the creative content and technology industries working more closely together to help ensure an Internet that works for everyone.”

The report highlighted the impact of illegal distribution services for sales of “Blu-ray, DVD and cloud services such as Ultraviolet, and authorized online services [that] provide a promising opportunity for motion picture distributors to offer consumers the ability to access movies on the platform of their choice.”

The NRC suggested more research is needed by government agencies to get a clearer picture on the overseas piracy impact on U.S. home entertainment sales.

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