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MPAA Highlights Home Entertainment to Congressional Candidates

10 Sep, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In the run up to the Nov. 6 presidential and general elections, the Motion Picture Association of America Sept. 10 — in a memo sent to the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate — provided talking points on the industry’s impact on technology, home entertainment and economies of all 50 states, among other issues.

The MPAA stated there are more than 350 services and platforms available online — excluding traditional retail — to buy, rent and stream movies, including Hulu, HBO Go, Vudu, Crackle, UltraViolet, Blockbuster On Demand, Flixster, Facebook, CinemaNow, Epix, MUBI, Netflix and Amazon, among others.

UltraViolet is the studio-backed initiative intended to jumpstart sellthrough and encourage consumers to unlock or buy digital files for replay in myriad media devices.

“The bottom line is that there have never been more ways to watch great content online through legitimate channels, and we are constantly developing new ways to give audiences more of what they want,” the MPAA wrote in the memo.

With the economy and jobs creation a key issue to voters, the MPAA said production of movies and TV shows in 2010 generated $42.1 billion in wages from direct industry jobs, including $37.4 billion in payments to nearly 278,000 businesses. The trade group said the entertainment industry supported 2.1 million jobs generating salaries 32% higher than the national average.

The entertainment industry boasted a positive services trade surplus of $11.9 billion in 2010, or 7% of the total U.S. private sector trade surplus in services, the MPAA noted.

Underscoring the importance of copyright protection, the MPAA cited an April Department of Commerce report that found intellectual property-intensive industries — including film and television — support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5 trillion dollars to gross domestic product (GDP) — or nearly 35% of the GDP.

“Protecting American creativity from theft is critical the U.S. economy – and so is protecting the freedom to express creativity online,” the MPAA wrote. “Creators must have the freedom to innovate online, and they must also be secure in their ability to benefit from their creations. Copyright protection is critical to ensuring that. We can protect creative works while ensuring that the Internet works for everyone.”

During both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, MPAA CEO Christopher Dodd issued statements in support of both parties’ stands on copyright protection and Internet freedom.

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