Film Industry Touts ISP Partners In Filtering Online Content 05/12/2007 by Liza Porteus Viana, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)By Liza Porteus Viana for Intellectual Property Watch NEW YORK – Internet service providers are going to lead the monitoring of networks to ensure they are not being used for infringing purposes in the entertainment industry’s seemingly endless battle to maintain control over where their content is distributed, and to whom, Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman said Tuesday. Glickman, speaking at the 35th Annual UBS Global Media & Communications Conference on 5 December, said his organisation – which represents the motion picture, home video and television industries – is working with telephone, cable and Internet companies, most notably AT&T, to ensure their networks are not being used to illegally share or download content. The relationship is somewhat ironic given the entertainment industry’s rocky history with the ISP community and its previous efforts to force telecommunications companies like Verizon to reveal the identities of customers who infringe copyrights on peer-to-peer filing systems. Glickman said AT&T is building protections into their systems in the form of filtering technologies, among other tools. “My prediction is, the ISP community is going to be at the forefront of this in the future because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not seeing the content is protected,” he continued. “In the next few years, all the major ISPs will be much more aggressive in … dealing with people who use their networks improperly.” About half of MPAA’s budget goes toward fighting piracy, Glickman said, alleging that the problem costs his industry $6 billion per year in lost revenue. His message was that there is a strong need to educate people – especially the younger age groups – about the value of intellectual property so they do not steal copyrighted movies, songs, or other content. But industry also needs to find ways to offer consumers “hassle free, reasonably priced alternative” ways to get content to prevent them from stealing it, he said. One way to protect copyrighted works is the use of digital watermarking, where identifying data is built into images, movies, music, or other programming, giving them a unique identity recognized by special software detectors. Movielabs, the entity formed by the six major motion picture studios to develop new technologies to battle movie theft, is currently studying increased use of watermarking by industry. MPAA member companies are also pursuing their own ways to protect their content. “People are getting their content in a myriad of ways, our job is to help facilitate this any way we can and help companies reach out to people, part younger consumers,” Glickman said. In New York, the MPAA has been airing trailers in movie theatres telling viewers the counterfeited or pirated works they obtain from unauthorised sources are of poor quality, hoping that will deter them. The group is working with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, as well as the New York Police Department and several studios. MPAA is going to expand that public relations campaign nationwide. “You will never stop piracy, it is impossible, the markups are just too great,” Glickman said. “But you make it as tough as you can for them and you provide disincentives on the supply and demand side.” Glickman’s comments come during a time traditional media outlets like music studios, record companies and others are coping with a myriad of digital networks that threaten their grip on how their content is distributed. Physical piracy is still a constant problem, but the Internet and file-sharing networks exacerbate the problem. At the same time, big traditional media companies know they cannot ignore newer mediums and are using venues like Apple’s iPod and Google to get their content to online users and somehow make money off of it. “Obviously, Google cannot be ignored,” said CBS President Leslie Moonves. But “you must get paid for that content … we do not view this as cannibalizing.” CBS last year entered into an agreement with Google to allow consumers to download some of its most popular prime-time television shows and other programs for a fee for viewing on the computer. The CBS Brand Channel was later launched on YouTube – owned by Google – so that a daily feed of news, sports and entertainment video clips can be viewed on the site. “We do look at them as a friend but we look at them cautiously,” Moonves said of Google. Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns said video-on-demand likely will help his company – an independent producer and distributor of movies and other entertainment – adapt to the new technological delivery options available, particularly as cable companies continue to roll out digital platforms. “We think video-on-demand is the killer application for us as a content owner,” Burns said, adding that users will be willing to pay 99 cents or $1.99 for any of the 12,000 titles in Lionsgate’s movie library if they know they can’t get that video – particularly the more obscure films � from their local video store or a pirated version. “The useful life of a library is significant and we continue to have the chance to exploit it, it just keeps going on and on,” Burns said. “I think video-on-demand is going to be much bigger than anyone has imagined.” Liza Porteus Viana may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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