EMA Position Statement on Anti-Camcording Statutes
Piracy is the gravest threat facing the home video industry. Any form of video piracy - illegal file-sharing or illegally reproduced DVDs - harms the creators of the works, the copyright holders, and most immediately, retailers. Because a camcorder copy of a movie is generally destined to be used as a master from which numerous copies will be made and distributed, either online or on DVDs, EMA supports making the camcording of a motion picture in a theater a crime.
The economics of the motion picture industry depend on the orderly release of movies through various distribution channels. Normally, movies appear first in theaters, then several months later on home video, and ultimately on video-on-demand, pay-per-view, premium cable, and other services. When illegal camcorder copies of movies are available on the Internet or street corners as soon as they are released in theaters (and sometimes before), legitimate retailers are irreparably harmed.
Online piracy, because of the ease with which millions of copies can be transmitted around the globe, is a particularly ominous threat to everyone in the home video industry. It is estimated that 90% of the movies illegally available online are pirated using camcorders in theaters. If online piracy is allowed to go unchallenged, the financial health of video retailers as well as the motion picture studios will be endangered, which in turn will undermine their ability to provide consumers with the movies they enjoy.
EMA Position Statement on Digital Piracy
The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) supports strong and effective laws against video and video game piracy and aggressive enforcement of those laws.
Piracy – illegal file-sharing or illegally duplicated DVDs and video games – harms the creators of the works, the copyright holders, and most immediately, retailers. Online piracy, because of the ease with which millions of copies can be transmitted around the globe, is a particularly grave threat to everyone in the home entertainment industry. If online piracy is allowed to go unchallenged, the financial health of entertainment retailers and as well as the motion picture studios and video game publishers will be endangered, which in turn will undermine their ability to provide consumers with the products they enjoy. Therefore, EMA stands united with copyright holders in the fight against this pernicious form of piracy.
EMA believes the following courses of action to address digital piracy must be pursued:
1. Consumers must be educated about the impact of piracy on the creative community, the
economy, retailers, and the public;
2. The entertainment industry must support the prosecution of infringers who make movies
and video games available through file swapping services and those who download illegal
3. Congress must ensure that U.S. and international laws provide adequate deterrence against
copyright infringement, as well as efficient and swift justice, while protecting lawful uses;
4. Content providers must employ advanced, robust, and dynamic copy protection
technologies to impede illegal digital and analog copying; and
5. Consumers must be provided choices among multiple lawful alternatives to file-swapping,
based on diverse and competitive business models that empower consumers to choose legal
services rather than theft.
At the same time, EMA believes Congress should ensure that consumers continue to benefit from strong competition in the home video industry and can continue to use and enjoy video products as they lawfully do today. While purely anti-piracy technologies are beneficial, some digital rights management technologies can also impair the first sale rights and other rights under the Copyright Act of lawful owners of copies of copyrighted works. Digital rights management technologies that prevent the lawful use, resale, and rental of digital entertainment, lock-up DVDs and digital downloads so they can only be played once or twice or for only a limited time, or “tether” a DVD or download to the first machine on which it is played are of limited value in fighting piracy. Rather, they appear designed to impose specific business models.
The focus of security technology for digital entertainment must remain on deterring piracy, and not on protecting business models. Emerging new technologies for video, including digital distribution, must respect the rights afforded consumers and retailers to use, sell, trade, gift, rent, and loan these products and must protect the privacy of consumers. There is no sound reason that lawful owners should have more limited rights in digital entertainment products than they have in analog products.