DGA, helmer orgs make piracy pitch

Move follows MPAA lawsuit announcement

The Directors Guild of America and half a dozen English-speaking directors organizations have issued a pledge endorsing antipiracy efforts.

“Piracy affects both the director’s economic rights (rights to be remunerated) and their creative rights to protect their vision (rights of integrity),” the Intl. Affiliation of English Speaking Directors Organizations said in a statement issued Monday at the conclusion of the meeting in Auckland, New Zealand.

“IAESDO supports, and is actively involved in, promoting legal, legislative and technological measures to strengthen and pass antipiracy laws and enforcement mechanisms, as well as campaigns to educate the public about the issue.”

Other orgs include the Directors Guild of Canada, the Directors Guild of Great Britain, Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, Australian Screen Directors Assn., Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand and BECTU of the U.K.

The announcement comes a week and a half after the MPAA officially announced that the member studios would start filing lawsuits later this month against those who illegally trade movies online. The MPAA estimates film piracy costs its members $3.5 billion annually.

The MPAA’s move received strong backing from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hollywood guilds.

“This is a basic question of what is fair and right,” said DGA secretary treasurer Gil Cates at the time. “We wish there was a perfect solution to the problem. We wish everything was for free and that nobody had to pay anymore. But that is not the world in which films can be made.”

IAESDO also announced its members unanimously supported efforts to enhance local production.

“In light of recent announcements by Television New Zealand that its new season schedules do not include any new local drama, this organization strongly urges its members to continue to press for sustainable levels of local film and television production,” the org said. “We believe that strong local audiovisual industries make for a more vibrant and rewarding global culture. Further, we emphasize the importance of the role of the director in bringing these stories to audience.”

Shona Grundy, executive director of the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand, added that TV New Zealand is violating provisions of its charter, which requires support and promoting of the talents and creative resources of Kiwis and of the independent native film and television industry.

“We believe the network is woefully failing to live up to this objective, and expressed this at the conference to our international colleagues,” Grundy noted.

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