MPA, A.G. Icaza unveil new alliance

MEXICO CITY — Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza and entertainment orgs including the Motion Picture Assn. unveiled a new alliance to coordinate antipiracy efforts in Mexico on Tuesday.

The MPA, the Intl. Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the Mexican Phonographic Producers Assn. hope the new Film and Music Protection Assn. will put a dent in piracy, which causes estimated losses north of $1 billion annually.

The press conference took place in Mexico City at the attorney general’s office, just blocks away from any number of stands selling illegal music and video.

Juan Carlos Lazo, prexy of Mexico’s Film Studios Council and director general of 20th Century Fox, praised the attorney general’s actions against piracy. “In the last 10 months, the ProcuradurĂ­a General de la RepĂșblica (the Attorney General’s office) has confiscated more than it did in the entire previous administration,” he said.

“Film and music piracy are closely connected to organized crime,” said MPA VP and director of global antipiracy John Malcolm. “These are people without morals who will do anything, be it human trafficking, child pornography … just as long as they make a lot of money.”

The industry and government officials also discussed a proposed new law that would give up to 10 years of jail time in addition to a fine for taping a film inside a theater.

Last week an Internet pirate distributor received a six-year sentence, what Malcolm described as a much-needed deterrent following zealous prosecution.

A new publicity campaign designed to educate the public on the ties between piracy and organized crime is also in the offing.

“(President Felipe Calderon) knows that repression and prosecution are not enough,” said AG Medina-Mora Icaza, adding, “We must also focus on prevention, education and creation of economic opportunities.”

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