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New MPAA Leader Committed to 'Net Piracy Fight

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_____Related Article_____
Glickman Selected to Replace Valenti at MPAA (The Washington Post, Jul 1, 2004)
_____Digital Rights_____
Senator Induces Support for Piracy Bill (washingtonpost.com, Jul 22, 2004)
Study: Global CD Piracy Trade Tops $4.5 Billion (Reuters, Jul 22, 2004)
TiVo's Plans Lead to Fight On Copyrights (The Washington Post, Jul 22, 2004)
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By David McGuire
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Thursday, July 1, 2004; 4:25 PM

The selection of former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to replace Jack Valenti as head of the Motion Picture Association of America won't result in any changes in the industry's policy of aggressively fighting online piracy, the two men said Thursday.

"Privacy and protecting the intellectual property of creative works has got to be the number one issue," Glickman said in the press conference to announce his ascension to one of Washington's top lobbying posts.

Glickman, who steps into Valenti's shoes in September, said he still needs to educate himself about a handful of piracy-related measures that the MPAA has been lobbying in Congress, but he said that he supported the organization's existing stance on those measures.

Congress is considering measures that would make it easier for law enforcers to prosecute people who illegally trade copyrighted movies, music and software over peer-to-peer file-trading networks. Lawmakers are also considering a measure -- strongly opposed by the MPAA -- that would allow consumers to bypass copyright protection measures in CDs and DVDs.

"I'm going to spend the next couple of months getting up to speed on this and other pieces of information," Glickman said. Neither he nor Valenti would comment about specific pieces of legislation.

Valenti said he told Glickman that guarding against piracy and safeguarding the movie studios intellectual property would be his "prime priority" at the organization.

The U.S. film industry has suffered fewer losses from Internet piracy than the music industry, mostly because downloading movies remains a lengthy process for many computer users. But Internet connection speeds are getting faster, and many high-speed Internet customers can now download a movie in a matter of minutes.

The MPAA does not disclose any estimates for how much it thinks its members have lost to Internet piracy, but the group estimates that movies are illegally downloaded 400,000 to 600,000 times every day. The association also says offline bootlegging accounts for $3.5 billion in losses every year.

Glickman said it wasn't enough to focus solely on lobbying for stiffer penalties for online pirates, saying that the industry also should concentrate on education and exploring new business models to get movies out to consumers in more ways than they're currently available -- views that are in line with Valenti's past statements on Internet piracy.

"I think there has got to be a multi-faceted approach to dealing with piracy," Glickman said.

Music accounts for about two-thirds of illegal downloads of copyrighted material, according to a study released last year by Palisades Systems, an Internet security firm based in Ames, Iowa. Palisades found that movies made up 23 percent of illegally downloaded works in its study of 22 million file-sharing transactions.


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