Glickman: Mexico must get tough on piracy


WASHINGTON -- In an effort to unify North America from the Arctic Circle to the Isthmus of Panama -- at least as far as piracy is concerned -- MPAA chief Dan Glickman has urged Mexico President Felipe Calderon to toughen that country's anti-piracy laws.

Glickman, Calderon and Sony lobbyist Jim Free, who has extensive Mexican connections, met Monday in Mexico City to discuss various issues facing the motion picture industry. At nearly $500 million a year in revenue losses, Mexico ranks No. 2 in piracy, with only the U.S. costing the studios more, Glickman said.

Both the U.S. and Canada have passed tough anti-camcorder laws, but Mexico doesn't have one on its books. While an anti-camcorder statute has been introduced in the Congreso de la Union, it has yet to become law.

"An anti-camcording statute, sort of like what we have done here and what's been done in Canada, would tie the North American nations together," Glickman said.

Glickman also urged CalĀ¬deron to get behind an "ex officio" statute that would allow law enforcement officers to bring an action without waiting for a complaint. "Mexico is an important market for us, but they have a very high rate of piracy," Glickman explained.

Calderon expressed support for the two legal changes, Glickman said, but the bills have to make their way through both the Camara de Senadores and Chamber of Deputies before the president can sign them into law.

While American high-level meetings with Mexican leaders are often tinged with difficulty, it is vital for the two nations to reach out to each other, Glickman said.

"It is important to recognize how we are inexorably tied together, even when immigration is such a big issue," Glickman said.