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April 26, 2013Arlington, VA, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

Theater owners, MPAA, IPR Center partner to combat movie piracy

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the National Association of Theatre Owners announced the planned release of a new trailer Friday aimed at educating the public about the laws against movie piracy. The announcement comes as international associations, government and law enforcement officials around the world celebrate World Intellectual Property (IP) Day.

The 15-second trailer is designed to shed light on the serious problem of illegal recordings of movies and will begin airing in movie theaters nationwide this summer. Illegal recordings, or "camcording," in the theater is the single largest source of fake DVDs sold on the street and unauthorized copies of movies distributed on the Internet. Camcording is a federal felony in the United States. Additionally, 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have anti-camcording laws to further safeguard creative works and their contributions to the economy.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the FBI, both partners at the IPR Center, worked with the National Association of Theater Owners and the MPAA on the trailer and their seals are displayed on the last screen.

"Counterfeiting and piracy directly hurts the American economy in terms of lost jobs and lost revenue," said Lev Kubiak, director of the IPR Center. "The criminal networks who engage in this kind of illicit activity profit on the backs of hard working innovators and creators."

"Theater owners depend on the movies that our partners in Hollywood and around the world create," said National Association of Theater Owners President and Chief Executive Officer John Fithian. "Camcording of those movies hurts ticket sales worldwide. This new PSA will help educate our patrons that camcording in a movie theater is illegal in an attention-getting, entertaining way."

"We deeply appreciate the work the IPR Center and the nation's theater owners are doing to help protect American jobs and creativity," said Senator Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the MPAA. "The good news is that we are making progress and the incidence of illegal camcording is down 55 percent since 2008 in the United States. But much more needs to be done – and it is our hope that this PSA and the new posters being placed in theaters throughout the country will help drive home that message."

World IP Day was started by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is celebrated April 26 every year in order to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity. WIPO is the United Nations agency dedicated to the use of intellectual property – patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, etc. – as a means of stimulating innovation and creativity. Their mission is to promote innovation and creativity for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, through a balanced and effective international intellectual property system.

WIPO's member states designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP. Since then, Word IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to discuss and demonstrate how IP works to contribute to the flourishing of music and the arts and to driving the technological innovation that helps shape our world. The theme for this year's World IP Day focuses on the next generation of creativity.

The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 30,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in more than 60 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Washington, their membership includes the largest cinema chains in the world and hundreds of independent theatre owners too. The association works with movie distributors on all areas of mutual concern, from new technologies to legislation, marketing, and First Amendment issues.

MPAA serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting, piracy, and commercial trade fraud. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

For more information, visit: or call 1-866-IPR-2060.