LOS ANGELES -- A broad coalition of entertainment industry workers, creators, producers, and trade associations known collectively as the Entertainment Industry Coalition (EIC) today met with Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo to discuss their shared interest in swift ratification of the U.S. Free Trade Agreement with the Republic of Korea. The EIC will launch a campaign to educate members of Congress, particularly the California delegation, about the benefits of the U.S.-Korea FTA to the entertainment sector of the U.S. economy.
Elizabeth Frazee, Executive Director of the EIC said, "The U.S.-Korea FTA is a groundbreaking agreement that will advance the interests of the U.S. entertainment industry, a source of well-paying U.S. jobs and the foundation of the U.S. creative economy. We look forward to working with Ambassador Han Duk-soo in raising awareness of the benefits of the U.S.-Korea FTA."
The meeting was held late this afternoon at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA).
"Considering the vital role international markets play in the success of the American entertainment industry, we strongly support efforts to break down market access barriers and curtail content theft that hinders our industry's growth abroad," said Greg Frazier, MPAA Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer. "It is a pleasure to join Ambassador Han Duk-soo in supporting the passage of this important trade agreement and to foster further cooperation between content owners, producers, and distributers and the government of Korea."
Neil Turkewitz, RIAA Executive Vice President, International remarked, "The Korea FTA provides specific references to the need to prosecute not only direct infringers, but also those who 'profit from developing and maintaining services that effectively induce infringement.' Korea also undertook to provide legal incentives for service providers to cooperate with right holders in deterring piracy. In doing so, Korea has taken a significant step toward a more effective system for combating the high levels of online copyright infringement that currently prevail, and we strongly endorse this agreement."
The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement contains provisions that are essential to the prosperity of the American creative industries operating in the globalized, digital era.
"The Independent Film & Television Alliance strongly supports this Agreement with the Republic of Korea, an important marketplace for independent producers and distributors, and we were pleased to discuss with the Ambassador the benefits it will provide both countries," said Susan Cleary, IFTA's Vice President & General Counsel. "Thanks to the cooperation between our respective governments, this FTA will promote greater marketplace access opportunities and ensure vitally important content protection safeguards for all producers and distributors."
Specifically, the agreement pledges to extend the protection of intellectual property to the digital economy by ensuring copyright holders have the exclusive right to make their works available online, and by prohibiting the circumvention of technology that protects copyrighted work from unauthorized access and copying. It also addresses online piracy, strengthens copyright enforcement by criminalizing end-user copyright theft, outlaws the use of camcorders in cinemas, and provides the necessary authority to seize and destroy counterfeit goods and the equipment used to produce them, including goods-in-transit, which will dissuade counterfeiters in neighboring countries from using Korea as a conduit for conducting their illicit trade.
The agreement also pledges to expand access to the Korean market for American goods and services by enhancing opportunities for American companies to offer legitimate content to Korean consumers; relaxing Korea's content quotas, which will increase the U.S. motion picture and television industries' ability to compete; improving opportunities for foreign-owned broadcasters; and committing to zero tariffs on most entertainment product imports. Furthermore, it ensures nondiscriminatory access to Korea's online market of over 15 million broadband subscribers.