WASHINGTON, November 9, 2010 – The Motion Picture Association of America has notified the United States Trade Representative as to what it believes are the most “notorious” physical and online markets threatening legitimate commerce.
The list introduces several forms of content theft, which the MPAA says all have a serious impact on the ability of the U.S. motion picture and television industry :to compete successfully overseas, "underscoring the need for a focused, strategic U.S. policy.”
The group argues that copyright theft means “declining incomes, lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits.”
Sweden, Ukraine, Canada, Russia and China top the charts with some of the most notorious online markets. These online markets have evolved from peer-to-peer protocols such as Napster, to decentralized technologies like BitTorrent. However, they've now moved to further fragmentation with streaming sites and cyberlockers, which are sites allowing users to upload and distribute files.
A secondary market also has grown in the form of “linking sites,” which look professional but facilitate content theft by indexing stolen movie and television content hosted on other sites. The MPAA says it also has seen growth in the export and shipment of pirate optical discs by Chinese internet firms.
Physical markets see big problems in counterfeiting. “Criminal groups are moving to control the entire supply chain, from manufacture to distribution to street sales, consolidating power over this lucrative black market and building substantial wealth and influence in virtually every region of the globe,” reads MPAA’s letter to USTR. Ukraine and Russia also dominate this market, but are joined by Ireland, Indonesia and Brazil.
The MPAA also noted that the motion picture and television production industry is “one of the few that consistently generates a positive balance of trade. In 2008, that surplus was $11.7 billion, or seven percent of the total U.S. private sector trade surplus in services.”