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Japan bans camcorders in theaters

New law makes it illegal to record films

TOKYO — Japan’s anti-camcording law went into effect on Thursday, making it illegal to record pics in theaters.

The law was passed late in May, with a sentence of  up to 10 years and a fine of up to Y10 million ($86,960) or both for violators. 

Industry orgs — including the Japan and Intl. Motion Picture Copyright Assn., the Motion Picture Producers Assn. of Japan, the Japan Assn. of Theater Owners, the Foreign Film Importer-Distributors Assn. of Japan and the Japan Video Software Assn. — jointly lobbied the government for the legislation in January and pressed vigorously for its passage.

Mike Ellis, MPA’s regional director for the Asia Pacific region, welcomed the new law.

Ellis is working with his Japanese colleagues to shut down camcorder piracy throughout Asia, where many pirated copies of Japanese pics are sold.

“Camcorder piracy not only costs the movie industry worldwide billions of dollars every year, but also diminishes the enjoyment of the movies for consumers, who may unwittingly purchase counterfeit DVDs that contain poor quality images and sound,” Ellis said.

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