Prevention, Education, Legislation
Pirates of The Exhibition!
by Belinda Judson
Executive Director, Mid-States NATO
As NATO president John Fithian stated
in his August In Focus column, piracy is an item on NATO’s
priority list. To that end NATO and our partners at the
been working together to find ways to enhance preventative
measures, to increase educational efforts through employee
training and public awareness and to pass tougher laws
not only in Congress but at the state level as well. So
allow me to elaborate on some of the activity that has
transpired since John touched on each of these items in
Prevention – Many of you have
been confused about how and where to report piracy incidents.
To aid us with
this problem, the MPAA is going to establish a toll-free
reporting number that will be available to all of you 24
hours, seven days a week.
It is also good to remember, when you are
doing sweeps in your auditoria, that camcorders are not
the only devices
capable of recording films off cinema screens. There
are tiny cameras that patrons can put in their pockets,
lapels, on their hats or even in something as small as
a pen. Cell phone cameras could even be employed.
As John mentioned, the studios have implemented
some added security measures for advance screenings. Some
of our members
have expressed concern that at times security personnel
can be overzealous and may frighten patrons. If you
specific details on instances where you feel this has
happened in your theatres, please share this with NATO
so it may
work with the MPAA and the studios on these efforts.
NATO and the MPAA will also be working together on
ways to help
you educate moviegoers on the piracy issue so they
have a better understanding of the heightened security.
Education – NATO is committed to helping you with
information to educate your employees about piracy. Many
of our members have started implementing employee training
policies and NATO will collect ideas and use them to outline “best
practices” to share with exhibitors. NATO will also
be publishing educational articles for In Focus and holding
seminars and panel discussions at industry conventions.
NATO and the MPAA will also collaborate
on in-theatre materials that exhibitors may use to help
educate patrons on the
Your input on all of these educational
tools is most welcome.
Legislation – As John also stated,
the MPAA is working on legislation in Congress and various
states to toughen
the laws on and penalties for piracy.
Theatre owners and NATO support anti-camcorder
legislation but want to make sure that new laws do not
any liability on theatre owners and their staff.
In the meantime don’t forget that, with regard to
camcorders and cell phones, you may obtain language developed
by NATO’s counsel for signage in your theatres.
Your efforts and support of this issue
are greatly appreciated and vital to the success of the