Effectiveness Still Questioned by Coalition
BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European
Union’s executive branch on Jan. 30 announced
new proposals designed to fight the war against counterfeiting
and piracy in Europe.
Under the proposal, pirates and counterfeiters
will be jailed, fined and have their bank accounts
Offenders could also face fines equal to double the
amount owed to copyright-holders, according to The
The proposal would also allow companies
to sue pirates for loss of profits, a right that doesn’t
yet exist in the Netherlands, Spain or the United Kingdom.
Authorities would also be permitted to exchange information
and confiscate documentary evidence.
A coalition of anti-piracy bodies, including
the Motion Picture Association, the International Video
the International Federation of Film Producers Association
and the European Film Companies Alliance, issued a
joint statement, however, proclaiming that the draft “fails
to introduce harmonization at the levels necessary
to ensure that pirates can no longer play on national
differences to avoid detection and prosecution.”
The associations warned that when the
EU expands to include many Eastern European countries
mired in piracy
issues, overall piracy rates will rise. The coalition
also plans to lobby for tougher provisions when the
European Parliament examines the proposal.
Nine Multis on Block
Ster Century Euro
Sites Up For Sale
LONDON – Ster Century Europe put nine of its
sites in Britain, Ireland and Spain up for sale in
Last year the South Africa-based circuit
sold its sites in Hungary, Poland, Greece and the
Ster currently has only one remaining European site
ING Bank was appointed to auction
off the sites.
EGV Opens Thai
BANGKOK, Thailand – EGV Entertainment opened
in late January an indoor cinema modelled after a 1950s
drive-in, according to the Thai newspaper The
Situated in a shopping mall
on the outskirts of Bangkok, the air-conditioned
site is said to feature antique,
classic cars converted into seats. Murals depicting
desert scenery adorn the side walls.
The paper also revealed that
tickets to the facility sell for $6, nearly double
the price of an ordinary
movie ticket in Thailand.
Village Cinemas Veteran
Livery New Hoyts
SYDNEY, Australia – George Livery in February
was named commercial director of Hoyts Cinemas Australia
and will be responsible for marketing, retail sales,
merchandising and customer strategies for the circuit.
Livery, who will report to chief operating
officer David Williams, was previously
the director of international sales and marketing for Australia-based Village
Hoyts Cinemas operates 877 screens at
97 sites in the United States and 338 screens in Australia.
Bidding Open For
City’s Oslo Cinemas
OSLO, Norway – The Oslo, Norway, city council began negotiations in late
January with foreign and local bidders interested in buying more than half
of its Oslo Cinemas circuit, according to Screen Daily.
Controlling 25 percent of the market,
Norway’s largest circuit operates
31 screens at 11 sites. Two Scandinavian exhibitors, Bonnier’s Svensk
Filmindustri and Kino 1, had reportedly expressed interest in the facilities,
though the trade magazine said Svensk has refrained from bidding.
With eight screens, Kino 1 is Norway’s
MPA Chief Lauds
Singapore-U.S. Trade Agreement Reached
SINGAPORE – The United States and Singapore issued a free trade agreement
in January imposing stronger copyright protection for U.S. intellectual property.
Motion Picture Association of
America president Jack Valenti applauded the agreement,
stating that “Singapore’s unparalleled commitments lead
the way for effective regulations that will set the standard for efforts to
curtail optical disc piracy in Asia.”
The deal includes copyright
extensions, stronger enforcement measures and the
rejection of the “cultural exemptions” that
kept authorities from creating stronger copyright
protections in free trade agreements with other
Under the agreement, goods created
in Singapore may be imported into the United States
duty-free, securing market access for the U.S.