The Global Challenge of Intellectual Property Rights
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The Global Challenge of Intellectual Property Rights

Edited by Robert Bird and Subhash C. Jain

The importance of intellectual property rights is now well established as a vital component in the success of firms and of nations. The diverse contributors to this volume, drawn from the fields of law, business and economics, clarify and analyze the problems and promise of IP policy from a global perspective. They discuss both developed and emerging nations and advance the understanding of this increasingly important topic.
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Chapter 4: Coming Attractions: Opportunities and Challenges in Thwarting Global Movie Piracy

Lucille M. Ponte


Lucille M. Ponte1 INTRODUCTION Disaster films have long been a staple of the movie industry, reaping huge revenues by scaring moviegoers with the familiar formula of catastrophes threatening to destroy the world as we know it (Rabinowitz, 1997). Theater patrons have thrilled to man-made disasters such as burning skyscrapers in Towering Inferno and mad scientist cloning in Jurassic Park to natural disasters such as ‘Sensurround’ seismic calamities for Earthquake or flying cows and gas tankers in Twister to doomsday scenarios involving errant asteroids in Armageddon, invading aliens in War of the Worlds, or instantaneous global warming in The Day After Tomorrow. In recent years, the movie industry seems to be producing its own disaster film, Global Movie Piracy, starring menacing theater cammers, devious downloaders and corrupt optical disc manufacturers. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) claims that the industry lost $18 billion in potential revenues in 2005 alone due to global film piracy (MPAA, 2005c); resulting in approximately 141 030 job losses and $837 million in lost US tax revenues (MPAA, 2006b). The industry asserts that international movie piracy endangers its teetering business model in which only one in ten films recovers its initial investments (Taylor, 2005). Since Hollywood finds comfort in following a safe formula, the MPAA along with its global arm, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), have shadowed the actions of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in its battle against music piracy, using courtroom, legislative and technological strategies. The film industry has sued movie consumers...

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