Hollywood film studios to sue individuals who swap pirated copies of films over the Internet

December 2004

Film Industry, Record Labels, Internet

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has said that it will follow the example set by the record industry and file the civil suits against individuals who upload/download films and swap these over the internet and would seek damages of up to $30,000 (300) per film. Dan Glickman, head of the MPAA, said the lawsuits were necessary before high-speed internet access made downloading pirated films easier. The MPAA have said it will file hundreds of lawsuits commencing November 16 commenting that “Illegal movie trafficking represents the greatest threat to the economic basis of movie-making in its 110-year history.” The crackdown will target individuals who deal in illegally copied cinema products on file-swapping networks, as well as the pirates themselves. Glickman added: “People who have been stealing our movies believe they are anonymous on the internet, and wouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. “They are wrong. We know who they are, and we will go after them, as these suits will prove.” The MPAA claims the US film industry loses more than $3bn every year in potential global revenue because of piracy. But Glickman said the figure did not take into account the losses from thousands of illegal online downloads that were swapped every day. The MPAA represents the seven major Hollywood film studios. One of the problems the MPAA will face is that unlike the now numerous legal music download sites such as i-Tunes, Sonyconnect and mycokemusic.com there is no equivalent legal download sites for films as yet. The Recording Industry Association of America and other recording industry trade associations faced numerous complaints when they first launched legal actions against internet service providers and individual downloaders that they had failed to launch legal download sites so allowing the illegal practice of file swapping to develop almost unchallenged.

See : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/3984755.stm

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