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Film piracy penalty is stiffened in New York City

Film piracy penalty is stiffened in New York City

With the summer blockbuster movie season just ahead, City Hall and the Motion Picture Association of America are warning that secretly videotaping films is now a misdemeanor in New York City.
Days before the highly anticipated "Spider-Man 3" opens across the United States, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a new law on Tuesday that upgrades film piracy from a violation with a $250 (euro183) fine to a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and penalties of up to $5,000 (euro3,675).
More than 40 percent of bootlegged films are recorded in New York City theaters, the MPAA says. The duplications are typically sold for mass reproduction or posted on the Internet, sometimes just hours after the movie has premiered.
Pirated movies cost major U.S. film studios more than $6 billion in 2005, according to the MPAA. And a new study by the group estimates that the New York City movie industry alone loses $1.5 billion (euro1.1 billion) a year due to piracy, and the local economy suffers further with lost earnings, tax revenue and jobs.
"We're going to keep the heat on the con artists, so that the real artists who make up our film industry can continue to thrive," Bloomberg said.
A new public service announcement campaign features film clips from movies like the animated hit "Happy Feet" as they might look in illegally recorded copies, emphasizing the poor quality.
The New York Police Department's organized crime investigation division has recently launched a law enforcement crackdown on the distribution networks of pirated films. Officials said Tuesday police have seized more than 195,000 counterfeit DVDs and made 29 arrests so far this year.
The city's efforts to target film piracy were applauded Tuesday by many in the entertainment industry, including the Screen Actors Guild, NBC Universal and the MPAA.


Updated : 2021-05-14 22:32 GMT+08:00