Anti-piracy tops agenda at ICC film conference
The growing international scope of film piracy and the steps the film industry and government must take to curb the problem were among the most urgent issues addressed at ICC's 20th Annual Conference on International Audiovisual Law, Film Distribution, New Technology and Piracy: Thriving in a brave new world, which took place in Cannes on 18-19 May.
Held at the Palais des Festivals during the star-studded Cannes Film Festival, the conference drew a record number of participants, totalling more than 100 industry leaders from film studios, technology companies and law firms. It was also covered by leading media such as BBC television, the International Herald Tribune, Variety and the South China Morning Post.
During three lively panel sessions, the participants tackled a variety of new challenges the film industry faces in an increasingly digitalized world including, distribution windows, video on demand and online downloading programs, in addition to piracy.
"Technology is moving faster than governments," said Dan Glickman, Chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who participated in the panel discussion on film piracy during the closing session of the conference. "We're going through an enormous change with the onset of the digital age. We have to encourage the development of hassle-free ways to get content to people, especially young people, in a way that is legal, and appropriate for them."
Other panellists at the conference included Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media; Nicolas Seydoux, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Gaumont; Mark Zoradi, President of Disney's distribution arm Buena Vista International and Ashwin Navin, Co-founder and President of BitTorrent – the company behind a popular programme used to download films.
ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban, who moderated the closing session of the conference, said: "Finding solutions to counterfeiting and piracy –in the film industry and across product sectors worldwide – has become a top priority for many organizations and in particular for the International Chamber of Commerce. In demonstration of this commitment, we at ICC have launched Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy – or BASCAP – to work around the world with companies large and small to increase public awareness and understanding of counterfeiting and piracy activities; to urge governments to act and allocate resources towards improved intellectual property rights enforcement and to create a culture change where intellectual property is respected and protected.
A recent MPAA study puts the film industry's worldwide profit loss at $US 6.1 billion, Mr Glickman said.
The panel on piracy agreed that a solution must be found multi-geographically, and that new technology should be embraced and developed by the film community to curb illegal behaviour.
The ICC conference was organized in conjunction with the International Bar Association and the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers.
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