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The audio cassette and home video recorders brought a new challenge to Hollywood.

Copyrighted video's have caused a great deals of problems for the Motion picture industry in America.

The copying of video tapes has been normally accomplished by getting a legitimate or illegitimate copy of a program. Then making copies of the program using an array of VCR's. This behavior has created a great loss of money the motion picture industry.

Because of this problem the Motion Picture Association of America began in 1975 a comprehensive anti-piracy program.

Source: Motion Picture Association of America

The transition from this physical copying to digital copying is increasingly a problem. In an address to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on WIPO COpyright Treaties Implementation Act and the Online Copyright Liability Limitation Act on Sept. 10, 1998 Jack Valenti, President and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America said:

The U.S. film industry, the most successful on this planet, currently confronts ceaseless thievery around the globe. We have made great headway but the war rages on. Our successes come primarily because the pirates today must cope with formidable distribution problems. Physical copies of a film must be obtained and then smuggled across borders and parceled out to distributors before reaching the ultimate consumer.

But digital networking will make today's piracy problems seem almost saintly. A pirate master will be digitized, posted on the Web, and made available to users of the Internet all over the world. Or the master can be used to make an infinite number of pristine copies (take note: the 1,000th digital copy is as pure in quality as the first copy, which is not so in analog where copying degrades quality). A single thief in an unprotected digital environment can be a big-time, full-fledged distributor of illegal filmed product. This is not simply a question of domestic theft. Entrepreneurial criminals around the globe are shamelessly excited by the prospect of enlarging riches, ready for the next technological advance that enables easy transfer of digitized movies. Even with today's Internet, which will look positively primitive in the years to come, I have seen pirated copies of films as current as "Mulan" and Steven Spielberg's landmark epic "Saving Private Ryan," available for downloading. The transition to cyberspace ought not and must not collapse and destroy the basic American value of private property. You will be pleased to note that within the implementing legislation are special protections for libraries, schools, and other nonprofit institutions. "Fair use" remains unchanged. Legitimate devices are unaffected; the language focuses specifically on illegitimate devices aimed at circumventing technologies used to protect creative works online (Valenti).

From the view of money generating media the growing problem of piracy the strength of copyright laws for the Internet should be strict and enforced. Without these copyright laws the whole entertainment industry could eventually fall apart.

Copyright History