2013’s 3rd Quarter Continues to Show Strong Growth in Online Movies and TV Shows Around the World

by Julia Jenks 11/26/2013 12:17 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

If it seems that every day there is a new development in the world of streaming movies and TV shows online, that’s because it’s true.  The uber-competitive online distribution market continues to add viewing options on a regular basis. 

At this very moment we are aware of over 410 unique online services around the world offering legitimate full-length films and TV shows to consumers, including more than 60 multi-country services like iTunes and Netflix.  And here in the U.S. alone there are now over 95 services available for consumers.  These include ones that have been highlighted before like Fandor, Amazon, Hulu and HBO GO, and also new services like the one that debuted last month from retail-giant, Target: Target Ticket lets you rent or purchase new releases and classic movies and TV shows.  You can find a growing list of all these different services that are now available on the MPAA’s site, www.WhereToWatch.org

But Target Ticket isn’t the only development in digital content that occurred during this year’s third quarter.  A new subscription online streaming service, Presto, will launch later this year in Australia and offer both current hits and favorite classic titles licensed to the Foxtel Movies channel, which includes the best that all of the major studios and key independents have to offer. And earlier this year Disney Media Distribution announced an agreement with Tencent’s Hollywood VIP, a Netflix-style VOD streaming service available throughout China, to provide live action and animated feature films from Marvel Studios, Pixar Studios and Walt Disney Studios. 

Other noteworthy developments that occurred since last quarter include: the expansion of Netflix’s operations into the Netherlands; VDIO announced its expansion into Canada just two months after its launch in the U.S. and U.K.; and iTunes announced in August the latest territorial expansion of its ‘iTunes Movies in the Cloud’ service to 8 new countries:  Austria, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Audiences around the world have an ever-expanding array of innovative options for viewing online.  And innovations in this area show no signs of slowing, whether in the form of new services, new geographies, and new content or new features.

Study shows European citizens view IP positively

by Chris Marcich 11/26/2013 08:14 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

That IP-intensive industries are drivers of innovation, growth and jobs shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Certainly it is something that the creative industry has been championing for a number of years.  The study undertaken by the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office (EPO) that was presented at the end of September, strongly confirms this claim and actually shows the IP-intensive industries overall contribute 26% of employment and 39% of GDP in the EU.  Within this, the core copyright-intensive industries generate 9.9 million jobs, contribute approximately EUR 230 billion and generate a trade surplus.

Yesterday, the OHIM released another important study, one which shows that European citizens view intellectual property and its social and economic contributions positively.  This is certainly very encouraging, especially when one looks at the overwhelming majority with which Europeans believe that IP is important.  This EU-wide study found that 86% agree that protecting IP contributes to improving the quality of products and services. And 69% of those questioned value IP because they believe it contributes to the creation of jobs and economic well-being. As a result, they condemn IP infringements.

But the study also clearly points to a gap between words and actions and shows that the EU faces a challenge in ensuring that its citizens understand what these values mean in practice when they enjoy films, TV shows and other creative works.  And so as online content offers in the EU are booming and the movie industry continues to provide sustainable legal platforms and services for all Europeans, the challenge we now face is to educate citizens about what it takes to make a movie and that the impact of piracy is not just on companies and stars but also on the hundreds of people involved in the movie-making process.  Whether we know them personally or not, they are citizens, neighbors, parents, and friends.  We love what they make and should respect and reward their creativity and originality.

Copyright - A Leading Force for Jobs, Innovation and Growth

by Senator Chris Dodd 11/19/2013 08:46 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

View infographic to see how U.S. copyright industries lead the economy in value added to GDP, economic growth, good jobs and foreign sales and exports

For years, those of us representing copyright industries have been making the case that copyright is a major contributor to the U.S. economy and an important job creator for American workers. In case there were any doubts, a new study released today by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) showed that, for the first time, the core copyright industries - the creators and producers of copyrighted materials like computer software, videogames, books, newspapers, music, and films and television programming - added over $1 trillion in value to the U.S. economy in 2012.

Of course, that is only part of the story - the other is that these important industries - and the millions of creative workers whose jobs are based on copyright - continue to face a major threat from piracy. And if we want copyright to continue to be a vibrant job producer and economic generator, we need to do more to strengthen and protect its businesses and workers, even as important new digital business ventures emerge to provide an ever increasing array of online movies, television shows, music and other creative products for consumers.

According to the new study, Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 2013 Report, these industries account for nearly 6.5% of the total U.S. GDP and are responsible for almost 5.4 million American jobs - that's almost 5% of the country's entire private sector. These are high-quality jobs offering an average of 33% more in compensation than the rest of the workforce.

And these are not just the famous people whose names and faces so many of us know, but the men and women sweating behind the scenes every day developing the latest software, building sets for films and TV shows, operating the lights and cameras, recording and producing the music we listen to, or publishing the latest books we love to read. These people provide the foundation of a healthy creative industry and they all depend on copyright for their livelihoods.

When you take into account other industries who work in and around copyright, but whose entire industry isn't based on it (such as toys and games, fabrics, TV sets, computers, etc.), these numbers grow even more staggering with more than 11.1 million workers employed altogether and $1.7 trillion added to the GDP. In the film and television industry alone, we support 1.9 million of those jobs, both directly and indirectly, through the creation, production and distribution of our movies and TV shows.

Today's study was prepared by Stephen J. Siwek of Economists Incorporated for the IIPA, and updates 13 previous studies. Based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and other government agencies, the study demonstrates the vibrancy of copyright and creativity as an engine for growth for the U.S. economy. It also highlights copyright's role as an engine for export revenues, creating a positive balance of trade with a "copyright surplus" of $142 billion for key copyright sectors last year. This "surplus" directly benefits workers here in the United States and provides a great deal of economic stability during these not so stable times.

As we continue to become much more of a knowledge-based economy, the importance of the copyright industries will only continue to grow. Between 2009 and 2012, these industries grew at a rate of 4.7%, that's more than twice as much as the entire U.S. economy. And who knows how much larger that will be in the next three years, if we work together as a society to create and enforce effective laws that will continue fostering the tremendous economic growth and contributions of those who create and innovate.

This post was originally posted on HuffingtonPost.com and can be read in its original format here.

Copyright Drives Innovation

by Michael O'Leary 11/14/2013 13:30 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Today, copyright is driving innovation throughout the growing digital economy, and promoting a robust, competitive environment that constantly generates new sources of entertainment for audiences to enjoy.  This in turn supports investments in the many related applications, devices and other technologies that viewers use to access this content with increasing ease and flexibility. To help spur this creativity and innovation, I believe that the primary goal of policymakers who are reviewing copyright should be to preserve and expand the incentives in the law that have produced this unprecedented success for consumers.

I made this argument in comments filed on behalf of the MPAA as part of a proceeding by the Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration regarding their Green Paper, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.”  A copy of these comments can be found here.

There are now over 90 legitimate web-based services in the U.S. to watch movies and TV shows, and that number is growing every single day --services like Netflix, UltraViolet, HBO GO, Hulu, Crackle, WatchESPN, Amazon Prime to name a few.  The entire list can be found at www.wheretowatch.org. These services let audiences connect to the content they love easier than ever before, and creators in both the content and technology sectors are devoting substantial time and resources to creating new, easier ways to access this content.

But in order to maintain this tremendous growth in innovation and technology, everyone in the digital ecosystem must do their part to protect the rights of creators and innovators.  The growth in access to digital content and to the Internet has been world-changing for consumers.  And I believe that all  stakeholders in the Internet ecosystem—whether search engines, advertising networks, payment processors, or cloud storage providers – share a responsibility to curb abusive practices online, including copyright infringement, and help create an Internet that works for everyone.

That means finding ways of working together in good faith on voluntary solutions where everyone shares in the responsibility of creating a healthy digital marketplace for the exchange of ideas, goods, and services; one that promotes creativity, investment, innovation and job creation.  

The motion picture and television industry is made up of media and technology companies.  They invest billions of dollars every year in creative talent, skilled workers, and supportive technologies. They produce movies and television programs that inspire, thrill, and educate audiences around the world while supporting 1.9 million jobs all across the country. They are responsible for 108,000 businesses across all 50 states, 85 percent of which employ fewer than 10 people. In 2011, the industry supported $104 billion in wages; $16.7 billion in sales tax, state income tax, and federal taxes; and a $12.2 billion trade surplus.

None of this would be possible without a robust, effective copyright system. And we must ensure that it remains the economic and innovation driver that it was intended to be.  

Search Engines Must Help Curb Piracy

by MPAA 11/14/2013 12:50 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Google has reportedly removed more than 200 million links to allegedly pirated content in 2013 in response to demands from copyright holders – up from 50 million in 2012. 
This increase in link takedowns is further evidence of the significant role search engines play in introducing Internet users to infringing content – movies and TV shows that have been stolen and illegally distributed online – and underscores their responsibility to help curb the piracy problem.
A study released in September by the MPAA found that 74 percent of consumers surveyed said they used a search engine as a discovery or navigation tool in their initial viewing sessions on sites with infringing content.  And 58 percent of searches that led to infringing content contained only general keywords – such as the titles of recent films or TV shows – and not specific keywords aimed at finding illegitimate content.
The study also found that audiences who view infringing content for the first time online are more than twice as likely to use a search engine in their navigation as repeat visitors.
We are constantly working to develop new and innovative legitimate platforms that deliver the shows and movies audiences want while ensuring that content creators are compensated for their work.  But as the gateway to the Internet, search engines have a responsibility to not only direct consumers to a high-quality viewing experience but also to adopt effective initiatives to address their role in introducing users to infringing content. 
As Rep. Marsha Blackburn said in September: “The question search engines need to answer is this: do they want to be the digital highways for legitimate information, entertainment and education, or do they want to be the get-away car for stolen content and mass exploitation of private property? Leaders in technology innovation are in a unique position to do something serious and they’re being called on to do better.”
Of course, search engines can’t solve the piracy problem on their own.  But their influential role in the Internet ecosystem means they share a responsibility to be good actors.  We look forward to continuing to work with search engines to find reasonable solutions that can foster and protect innovation and creativity online.

3rd China International Co-Productions Film Screenings come to LA

by Mike Ellis 11/04/2013 11:02 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Fascinated to see a rom-com about the pregnant mistress of a powerful tycoon shipped off to Seattle to have a baby to escape the reach of the gossip tabloids? Excited to see Keanu Reeves take the helm behind the camera for his directorial debut with the action film Man of Tai Chi?  Then look out for these and other co-productions screening when filmmakers and representatives of the American and Chinese film industries converge on Los Angeles for the 3rd China International Co-Production Film Screenings.

Over the past decade, China has exploded into one of the biggest film markets around the world, second only to North America.  Between 2003 and 2012, their box office grew from USD $120 million to USD $2.7 billion, and for the first nine months of this year it grew once again by nearly 35% compared to last year. And the domestic and co-production film industry in China has grown in leaps and bounds, producing some of the most creative and original content around. 

That’s why for the last five years we worked with others interested in the growth of China’s film industry to create the China International Co-Production Film Screenings with the goal of fostering a greater exchange of creative ideas and strengthening the bond between our two film industries. And it is working. Today, Chinese, American and companies from many countries are together producing films, building cinemas, and innovating with new technologies to excite audiences worldwide.

And now, after the great success of our first two co-production film screenings, all of us at the MPA, as well as our partners at AMC, Asia Society, China Film Group Corporation, China Film Co-production Corporation, China Lion, CJ Entertainment, IMAX, MTime, Variety and Wanda are thrilled to highlight a small sample of the great filmmaking that is being done by creators and artists from both nations working together thanks to the cooperation that events like this support.

To kick-off this year’s exciting line-up of screenings, our partners at Universal Studios will host a gala event on their studio lot this evening featuring a special screening of Man of Tai Chi. The week will continue with the North American premiere of Finding Mr. Right, a love story from the mind of talented new writer/director Xue Xialou who was the winner of MPA Asia-Pacific’s first film workshop just a few years ago; the Chinese blockbuster Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, and others.  A full schedule of the week’s screenings can be found here.

This is a very exciting time for not only those working in the Chinese and American film industries, but movie lovers in both nations who are eager for great stories that are fresh and well told. It has never been easier for creators from different nations to collaborate on projects and bring stories to life that will appeal to different audiences than it is today. So for those who attend next week's 3rd China International Co-Production Film Screenings and are looking for great, fresh stories that appeal to a lot of different audiences – I promise that is exactly what they will get.

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