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The Motion Picture Assn., together with a coalition of Japanese biz orgs, supports an amendment to Japan’s Copyright Law outlawing unauthorized Internet downloads of copyrighted content, MPAA prexy Bob Pisano confirmed in a keynote speech at the Tokyo Intl. Film Festival’s Intellectual Property Rights Forum in Tokyo on Friday.

“We need to take our case both to young people and to older citizens, individuals who should appreciate even more profoundly the relationship between the unlawful reproduction of legal products and the loss of honest jobs, income and tax revenues that are critical to building a better society,” Pisano said.

He also praised a new law that went into effect in August banning recording pics in theaters. Violators face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to 10 million yen ($86,956).

Also in late May, the Japanese government announced a plan for stricter local measures against counterfeit goods and pirated content. The plan calls for an international treaty to halt the production of pirated works and strengthen domestic controls.

Pisano, however, stressed the need for, not only legal crackdowns, but consumer education, especially among the young people who consume so much of the content the biz produces.

Tokyo, he noted, is “the ideal venue for a discussion of how young people view intellectual property rights, and how those views affect the future of the motion picture and other creative industries. The creativity that is on display in so many places in Tokyo, and more widely throughout Japan, is critical to Japan’s cultural identity, critical to the country’s domestic economy, and critical to Japan’s contribution to the global economy.”

In concluding his remarks, Pisano stressed the need for urgency — and coordination: “We in the movie industry must work with our counterparts in the music business, the game software business, the computer software business, with governments and with educational institutions,” he said. “Our collective goal must be to devise and execute strategies for attacking intellectual property theft from all points on the compass.”

Although Japan does not have anything like the open sales of pirated DVDs and other software found in other Asian countries, the local biz faces the same sort of problems protecting its copyrights from pirates, foreign and domestic, as its counterparts across the region. According to an MPA commissioned survey, piracy cost the Japanese biz $742 million in potential sales in 2005, of which $216 million was said to be MPAA member losses.