US, France join forces to fight movie piracy

13th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

LOS ANGELES, April 12 (AFP) - The United States and France on Tuesday joined forces to step up their fight against rampant movie piracy which officials said could lead to the death of the cinema industry in both nations.

LOS ANGELES, April 12 (AFP) - The United States and France on Tuesday joined forces to step up their fight against rampant movie piracy which officials said could lead to the death of the cinema industry in both nations.

Top US and French filmmakers, including "Ray" director Taylor Hackford and French director Bertrand Tavernier turned out at the Hollywood headquarters of the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI) to give weight to the initiative.

"Piracy is an epidemic that affects writers, producers, directors, actors and thousand of people in the industry," said Dan Glickman, head of the Hollywood studios' lobby group, the Motion Picture Association of America.

"Stopping illegal downloading is the future of this industry," he said, adding that the music and book publishing industries faced a similar threat.

Glickman, who is leading Hollywood's crusade against piracy - which he says costs the US economy about USD 3.5 billion (EUR 2.7 billion) annually - said the French and US movie industries had a common goal in stamping out piracy: survival.

"What if there were no movies?" Glickman asked a crowd on the fringes of the ninth annual City of Lights, City of Angeles film festival in Los Angeles.

"Movies are a source of entertainment and learning about life, love and adventure and we will not let these thieves take that away from us," Glickman said.

Hackford, the Oscar-nominated maker of the "Ray," the 2004 story of the life of soul legend Ray Charles that won a best actor Oscar for Jamie Foxx, said films take years to make but can be stolen online in seconds.

"Films are not created by the snatch of your fingers," he said. "They take years of work. With the Internet, you have instant access to the content we took years to create," he said.

Hackford said that on the day "Ray" was released in the United States he was offered a boot-leg DVD copy of his own film, filmed with a camcorder, as he walked down a New York street.

"The human face of the creator has been overlooked," Hackford said, adding: "Why would studios want to put money on a film that can be stolen?"

Xavier Merlin, director of European and international affairs at France's National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) said the French and US film sectors were jointly committed to fighting the theft of their intellectual property rights.

"We share the same concerns, we are together, piracy hurts everyone who distributes, makes, directs movies. It threatens the economy of creation. fighting for piracy is a cultural and economic necessity," Merlin said.

The MPAA in December launched a worldwide crackdown of movie piracy.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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