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Sunday, 4 January 2004


The BBC reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is pushing for tougher enforcement of laws against copying of films in the US. It is calling for citizen's arrests of those found copying,as well as stiffer fines and jail terms. The police have said that they will respond to citizen's arrests by cinemas if resources allow them to. Similar laws already exist in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Now the MPAA is hoping that similar measures will be legislated for in California and Ohio. At the moment the penalty in Ohio is six months in jail and a $1,000 (£560) fine, whereas in Michigan it is up to five years in jail and a $250,000 (£140,000) fine.

The MPAA has expressed particular concern at piracy by those involved in the film industry, particularly Hollywood insiders and cinema projectionists taping the films from their booths. It claims that piracy is costing the film industry $3.5bn (£1.97bn) a year.

While the IPKat condemns piracy, particularly by those whose job it is to further the interests of the film industry, he feels that the fines and jail sentences envisaged may be somewhat excessive. Also, he wonders if the police have better things to do than mopping up citizen's arrests.

How to make a citizen's arrest here
How cinema pirates work here
Information for would-be cinema projectionists here

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