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in Filmmaking
on Jul 16, 2004

In the current issue of Filmmaker, producer Jeff Levy-Hinte writes a lengthy and provocative essay on the MPAA’s “War on Piracy.” Even if we weren’t the publishers of the magazine, we’d tell you that it’s a must-read. But for those who, after finishing it, may feel that Jeff’s paralleling of the “War on Piracy” with the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” is a bit over-the-top, then check out this link to an article in The Guardian, in which the true cost of that black-market copy of Soul Plane is revealed.

Writes The Guardian:

“That, essentially, is the message being promoted this week by the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness (ITIPA), the body that represents some of the world’s largest film companies. This week it launched a 1.5m [pound] ‘public awareness campaign’ to inform people of supposed links between the ‘Del Boy’ characters who sell pirate DVDs and terrorist cells.

“Posters claiming that ‘terrorist groups sell DVDs to raise funds’ are at the heart of the campaign. Anyone renting a video will now be receiving the same message. So where is the evidence for this claim?

“The industry group cited as its chief witness Ronald Noble, secretary general of Interpol. It quoted him as saying: ‘The link between organised crime groups and counterfeit goods is well established, but Interpol is sounding the alarm that intellectual property crime (IPC) is becoming the preferred method of funding for a number of terrorist groups.’

So when you see that bootlegged copy of Chronicles of Riddick strewn across a mattress on Canal Street, stop and think of the consequences.

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