MPA backs legal download site

Org keen to establish new site

AUCKLAND — The Motion Picture Assn. is working on a plan to prevent piracy taking off in the South Seas.

The MPA is keen to establish a New Zealand movie download website, allowing locals to download movies legally and so cut Internet piracy.

MPA representative Tony Eaton, of the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft, made the suggestion in a report to MPA bosses for the Asia-Pacific region.

He said in Australia — 1,200 miles to the west — there are five websites to legally download movies.

Piracy became a high-profile issue here when illegal copies of the Kiwi buddies movie “Sione’s Wedding” ate into profits for producers, South Pacific Picture.

Web piracy of features is still small scale in part because of slow broadband speeds that make full movie downloads unattractive.

But broadband speeds are increasing rapidly.

Eaton plans to ramp up policing of Internet piracy including oversight of TV show downloads.

Meanwhile, the MPA and other entertainment rights holders have more powers under the Copyright Act (New Technologies) Amendment bill passed last week.

Under Section 92 of the Act, Internet service providers are obliged to remove material if they breach copyright.

Both the MPA and the Recording Industry Assn. of New Zealand lobbied for the change, which was fought by local ISPs.

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