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Outgoing boss of Hollywood trade group praises European web-blocking

By | Published on Wednesday 7 June 2017


The outgoing boss of the Motion Picture Association Of America, Chris Dodd, who announced he was departing the Hollywood trade group in April, has praised web-blocking efforts against copyright infringing websites in Europe.

Speaking at an event in Italy, Dodd noted how a number of European countries now provided systems via which copyright owners – including movie studios and record companies – can seek injunctions forcing internet service providers to block their customers from accessing piracy platforms.

Web-blocking is not currently available in the US – and proposals to introduce such measures there in 2011 and 2012 proved very controversial – though the MPAA has been quietly trying to put the anti-piracy tactic back on the agenda Stateside.

The event where Dodd was speaking reviewed the current state of play regarding online piracy in Italy, which remains an issue despite measures such as web-blocking now being available there. According to Torrentfreak, the boss of local anti-piracy organisation FAPAV said: “The research tells us we cannot lower our guard – we always have to work harder and with greater determination”. He added that: “The pillars of anti-piracy protection are: the judicial authority, self-regulatory agreements, communication and educational activities”.

Although Dodd, the MPAA and FAPAV all advocate web-blocking and other legislative measures to try to combat piracy online, the outgoing movie industry chief also conceded that education was a key element too. “Today’s youth are the future of the audiovisual industry. Young people must learn to respect the people who work in film and television that in 96% of cases never appear [in front of camera] but still work behind the scenes”.

He added: “It is important to educate and direct them towards legal consumption, which creates jobs and encourages investment”.