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RIAA And MPAA Go On Holiday Blitz

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

27 November 2006

The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) last week launched their 'Holiday Blitz' campaign, a targeted effort designed to reduce the amount of illegal products readily available to the public during the year's peak period for retail sales and new releases.

"The holiday movie season is an exciting time for film audiences and an opportunity to showcase the best of the film industry," explained Mike Robinson, Vice President and Director of US Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA.

"We want to ensure that these wonderful newly released films are experienced the way they were meant to be — at the highest quality possible in movie theaters across the country. If shoppers come across DVDs of films that are still playing in theaters, they are definitely pirated copies. Holiday shoppers should be sure to purchase DVDs from legitimate retailers to ensure they are buying genuine high quality copies of the films they love."

"Thousands of people in the music community — including artists, songwriters, musicians and record label employees — work throughout the year preparing releases to showcase their talent during the holiday season. When the hard work of music professionals is undermined by piracy, everybody loses," added Brad Buckles, Executive Vice President, Anti-Piracy for the RIAA, adding:

"Music is the quintessential gift during the holiday season, and when consumers buy the real thing, everyone wins. Fans get a superior product, retailers generate tax revenue for the local community and all of the people in the music industry who created the album earn a return for their work."

Beginning in mid-November and running for a period of two months, the Holiday Blitz program aims to reduce the number of illegal CDs and DVDs readily available to holiday shoppers. This year, the campaign will focus on major pirate product manufacturers responsible for feeding "pre-release" and newly released music and movies into illicit retail markets, and will also continue to include aggressive action against the retail markets where the illegal products are sold, including retail shops, flea markets and street vendor displays.

Specifically, the MPAA will increase security in movie theaters and efforts to prevent illegal camcording in theaters during the holiday theatrical release window.

In the case of music, pre-release piracy most often involves an album being posted first on the internet before its commercial release date and then rapidly being converted around the country to physical product being sold by pirate operations. Since this form of piracy presents the greatest potential for harm, the RIAA has stepped up coordination between its online and physical goods piracy operations during this critical period.

As soon as online investigators identify a pre-release track or album available via peer-to-peer networks, those titles are placed on heightened alert for RIAA street piracy investigators nationwide.

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