Washington - The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) - a coalition of seven member associations, each of which represents a significant segment of the U.S. copyright industries - today submitted recommendations to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in its annual "Special 301" review. IIPA's recommendations aim to protect our nation's creative industries, reduce piracy abroad, and topple barriers erected in foreign markets to U.S. copyrights. Strong copyright protection and effective enforcement around the world would help boost U.S. exports, create good jobs here at home, and contribute to U.S. economic growth.

The IIPA report documents increasingly devastating online and physical piracy of copyrighted works in numerous countries throughout the world. It advocates concrete solutions to address the "Copyright Industries' Initiatives and Challenges for 2011."[1][1] The report surveys problems and developments in 40 countries, recommending that 33 of them be placed on the USTR list of countries that fail to adequately or effectively protect IPR or that do not afford creators with adequate market access.

Regarding this year's IIPA submission, Eric H. Smith, counsel to IIPA, commented, "The Special 301 process remains an effective trade tool for pursuing strong copyright protection, anti-piracy measures, and open markets for creative content. The U.S. core copyright industries - business software, entertainment software, motion picture, television and home video entertainment, music, and book and journal publishing - remain important drivers of the U.S. economy, contributing mightily to domestic growth and employment, including more than 6.4% to the U.S. economy, over 4% of all U.S. jobs, and over $126 billion annually in revenue from foreign trade. Increasing exports by reducing trade barriers like piracy is essential to our country's economic recovery and long term growth."

IIPA counsel Steve Metalitz added: "In this year's IIPA report, we highlight not only the severe harm caused by piracy in the online and physical environment, but also the promise that swift action will foster legitimate commerce in copyright works, benefiting creators and consumers of this material worldwide. We thank the U.S. Government, the many senior officials at USTR, Commerce, State, USPTO, the Copyright Office, the Office of the IP Enforcement Coordinator and others, along with their staffs, who have worked steadfastly over the years to ensure that our trading partners respect U.S. intellectual property and open their markets to our products and services. We also express our support to the Administration to urge swift approval of the Korea, Colombia, and Panama FTAs, and for a robust Trans-Pacific Partnership. These initiatives with strong IP chapters are critical vehicles to open foreign markets and encourage free and fair trade for America's most productive companies."

Background on the IIPA 2011 Special 301 Country Recommendations

IIPA recommends that 13 countries be placed on the Priority Watch List in 2011: Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam. IIPA recommends that Spain, Ukraine, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Costa Rica be elevated to this list.

China should remain on the Priority Watch List. China's many notorious online piracy sites and services, its failure to effectively lower enterprise end-user software piracy or legalize government and state-owned enterprise (SOE) use of software or publications, and myriad market access barriers remain serious irritants to the U.S. content industries. The report highlights measures that would help in the fight against online and physical piracy, including the need for deterrent civil and criminal actions, and key commitments the Chinese Government has made (and must follow through on) regarding liability for those who facilitate online infringement, legalization of software by government agencies and SOEs, strengthening copyright protection in China's libraries, and non-discriminatory market access for products with IP owned or developed outside of China.

Spain should be elevated to the Priority Watch List in light of the explosion of online piracy in recent years and the failure of the Spanish Government to address it effectively. Internet piracy has decimated the Spanish market for some copyright industries. Adoption of the Law on the Sustainable Economy would establish a mechanism for the removal of pirated content on websites and would mark an important first step toward combating Internet piracy in Spain. Addressing consumption of infringing materials, removing the protective cloak of anonymity for infringers, and securing greater cooperation on the part of Internet service providers with respect to the use of their proprietary networks and platforms for infringing purposes, are greatly needed.

Canada merits continued placement on the Priority Watch List, standing virtually alone among developed economies in failing to bring its laws up to global minimum standards for the digital networked environment. Pending Canadian legislation was introduced with sound objectives, but its overall approach to the role of service providers in combating online piracy and excessively broad proposed exceptions to copyright protection need amendment to ensure the legal framework is effective. Canada's enforcement record also falls short, with ineffective border controls, insufficient enforcement resources, inadequate enforcement policies, and a seeming unwillingness to impose deterrent penalties on pirates.

Russia should remain on the Priority Watch List to reflect continuing serious concerns about Russia's legal and enforcement regime related to all aspects of piracy-on the Internet and the streets, in corporations and government offices, as well as the current chaotic situation with respect to the collective administration of the rights of performers and record companies. Of particular importance is ensuring that present consideration of regulations to address Internet piracy by various ministries, under the lead of the Ministry of Culture, produces a robust response to the problem, and that it clearly prohibits entities like vKontakte from operating businesses based on providing access to infringing materials. We note a decline in the number of criminal actions undertaken, very little action taken against Internet piracy, and stalled progress in addressing illegal use of software by corporations and government agencies. The independent film and music industries report piracy has reached disastrous levels.


Thailand should remain on the Priority Watch List due to insufficient progress over the past year on key concerns, both legislative and enforcement, notwithstanding the dedicated efforts over the past year on the part of many officials and departments. We appreciate these efforts, but they have thus far failed to produce the kind of concrete results that are needed to address the serious piracy problems in the market, including physical and online markets, and the rapidly growing problem of illegal camcording. IIPA appreciates the Royal Thai Government's high-level commitment to grow its economy through increased creative output and its transparency with industry on enforcement and a timetable for legislation. We hope that 2011 will produce results that will foster Thailand's creative economy by providing a more robust response to all forms of piracy that currently undermine the Thai market.


IIPA asks USTR to place or maintain 19 countries on the Watch List: Belarus, Brazil, Brunei, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia (OCR), Mexico, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. IIPA again recommends that USTR continue to monitor developments in Paraguay under Section 306 of the Trade Act of 1974.

IIPA's full submission is posted on the IIPA website at www iipa.com.

 

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Los Angeles, CA -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX), and DreamWorks Studios announced today that the suspense thriller I Am Number Four, from director D.J. Caruso, will be released in the immersive IMAX format on Friday, February 18. The film will open on 228 IMAX screens domestically, simultaneous with its North American wide release. I Am Number Four will also be released to at least 96 IMAX screens internationally, with nine screens opening day-and-date. Additional international playdates are expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

I Am Number Four: The IMAX Experience has been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® through proprietary IMAX DMR® technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique immersive environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

 

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In a shocking development for the almost pathologically loyal filmmaker Tim Burton, actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter were attached earlier this week to the director's forthcoming production of Dark Shadows, an adaptation of the "gothic soap opera" that ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971. Pfeiffer is reportedly in talks to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, while Carter is supposedly set to take the role of Dr. Julia Hoffman; both characters were created for the original series, but it's yet unclear precisely how they will play into the plot of Burton's film, which stars another frequent collaborator, Johnny Depp, as Barnabas Collins.

Pfeiffer previously worked with Burton on Batman Returns, where she played Catwoman. Carter, meanwhile, in addition to being Burton's off screen companion, worked with the filmmaker on almost all of his films since his 2001 film Planet of the Apes.

In addition to these casting rumors, Deadline previously confirmed that Eva Green is playing the witch Angelique, Jackie Earle Haley will play a conman named Willie Loomis, and Bella Heathcoate will play a young governess of the Collins estate named Victoria Winters.

 

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Los Angeles, CA -- MovieTickets.com, the worldwide leader in advance movie ticketing, today announced a long term extension with Marcus Theatres Corporation. Since 2000, MovieTickets.com has been the exclusive online ticketing partner for the theater chain's 55 locations, consisting of 684 screens across major Midwest markets.

"Marcus Theatres plays a critical role in our coverage throughout the Midwest," said Joel Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, MovieTickets.com. "We are pleased to extend our partnership with Marcus Theatres and to remain fully committed to providing its audience with unparalleled movie ticketing services."

With the multi-year extension agreement, Marcus Theatres will continue to enjoy the high level of additional visibility MovieTickets.com provides through its extensive affiliate program, including some of the most highly trafficked sites on the Internet.

"MovieTickets.com is a great partner that continues to provide our audiences with innovative ways to purchase movie tickets in advance," said Bruce J. Olson, president of Marcus Theatres. "Bolstered by its extensive network of affiliates, MovieTickets.com has increased our online ticket sales by more than 100 percent in the past four years. When the time came to extend our agreement, it was an easy decision."

 

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Universal City, California -- The funniest and most entertaining installment of one of the most popular comedic franchises in history, Little Fockers, comes to Blu-rayTM Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Download and On-Demand April 5, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. For more than a decade, the antics of the extended Focker-Byrnes family have kept audiences laughing and generated combined worldwide movie ticket sales of nearly $1 billion. Now the latest chapter in this hilarious family saga turns an eye toward another of life's milestones - raising kids.

Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) has finally begun to earn the respect of his ex-CIA father-in-law, Jack Byrnes (Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro) but one important test still lies ahead: can Greg prove that he has what it takes to be the family's next ‘Godfocker?' The sequel to the comedy blockbusters Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers reunites De Niro (Everybody's Fine) and Stiller (Night at the Museum franchise) with Oscar® winners Dustin Hoffman (Kung Fu Panda) and Barbra Streisand (The Prince of Tides), Blythe Danner (Paul), Teri Polo (Beyond Borders) and Owen Wilson (How Do You Know). Jessica Alba (Machete), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) and Harvey Keitel (The Piano) also join the cast in the funniest Focker family story yet.

Both the Blu-rayTM Combo Pack and the DVD are packed with extras, including deleted scenes, a hilarious gag reel, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Little Fockers and a never-before-seen alternate opening and ending not shown in theaters! The two-disc Blu-rayTM Combo Pack offers fans three different ways to catch up with the Focker family. The set includes a Blu-rayTM and DVD copy of film; and for a limited time only, a digital copy of the movie that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere.

Not only will Blu-rayTM purchasers be able to experience Little Fockers in spectacular high definition and with the purest sound available, they can also watch exciting Blu-rayTM exclusive featurettes with Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Blu-ray TM consumers can also access MY MOVIESTM, an exclusive feature that allows consumers to stream a bonus movie of their choice instantly to their television through any Internet-connected Blu-ray TM player via BD-LiveTM or to their Smartphone and iPadTM using the free pocket BLUTM app. The bonus movie will be available for a limited time only.

Also available through MY MOVIESTM, Blu-ray TM owners can instantly rent a selection of Universal film favorites on their television, Smartphone, computer or iPadTM including hits such as Meet the Parents, Fast and Furious, Mamma Mia! and Coraline, at a price of $2.99. Visit UniversalHiDef.com for information on how to get started.

 

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