TOKYO — Law-abiding Japan might seem far from the frontlines of Asia’s piracy wars, but don’t tell that to Motion Picture Assn. chairman-CEO Dan Glickman.
Glickman delivered the keynote address Thursday at the Tokyo Film Festival’s antipiracy seminar — and rattled off figures showing piracy losses in the market hit $742 million in 2005, some 15% of all revenues.
Of those losses, $178 million was chalked up to Internet pirates, including an estimated 1.2 million people using peer-to-peer software.
“The economic and social impact of intellectual property theft is enormous and will have even greater long-term implications if not brought under control,” Glickman said.
Camcorded copies are still the bigger problem in the territory, Glickman noted, accounting for around 90% of early-release pirate discs, the majority containing Japanese pics.
In January the MPA, together with the Motion Picture Producers Assn. of Japan and other local orgs, sent a statement to the Japanese government supporting anti-camcording legislation.
“The MPA and our industry partners here in Japan believe this is important because we need every tool in the fight against copyright theft,” Glickman said.
He also advocated stronger copyright laws, tougher enforcement and more jail time for pirates.
Most important, Glickman said, is “an understanding by ordinary citizens, the people who love movies, that buying pirated movies hurts the industry and makes it difficult for moviemakers to make new films.”
Glickman shared the dais with Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft exec director Adrianne Pecotic, Sony Pictures Entertainment senior veep Dick Sano and Toei prexy Yusuke Okada.
Okada noted all Japanese understand that “riding a train without a ticket is against the law and deserves to be punished.”
“Buying a pirated video is exactly the same as boarding a train without paying for a ticket — we have to make people understand that,” he said.