MPAA opines on Asia

Glickman weighs carrott or stick approach

CANNES — Dan Glickman is clear: Asia is important. The MPAA topper feels Asia presents as many opportunities as problems for Hollywood movie firms. But deciding whether using a carrot or a stick is the way to get the region moving in the direction he wants is a tough call.

On one hand, he describes the change to South Korea’s screen quota — that this week is causing bitter protests in front of the Palais — as a “success.” On the other hand, he talks of “understanding” the reasons for the persistence of piracy and of co-operating in development of local industries.

A former agriculture secretary and a China veteran, Glickman admitted many U.S. politicos have not yet recognized China’s “genuine good faith efforts,” and warned that the U.S. must not isolate China as a developing superpower. “We have a lot of mutual interests (that go beyond the entertainment industry policy), such as stability in East Asia or nuclear power,” he said.

In regard to several issues, Glickman is keen to work with other agencies. On the intellectual property enforcement issue, he says the MPAA should cooperate with national federations in music, books and computer software.

Concerning the opening of China’s market to movie and TV imports, Glickman stresses the country’s obligations under the World Trade Organization. “They have to play the game … we will push them and test them,” he said.

Finally, Glickman suggests that China has a has to choose between behaving like a modern economy or keep on pretending. “China has to choose whether it wants an Olympic Games like the sterile showcase of Berlin in 1936 or an economic triumph like Sydney,” Glickman said.

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