Pisano asks for greater Japanese action

MPAA president urges 'graduated response' by ISPs

TOKYO -- Bob Pisano of the Motion Picture Association Friday called on Japanese lawmakers and film industry executives to do more to tackle online piracy.

Pisano, MPAA president and COO, urged the adoption of a "graduated response" by Internet service providers against downloaders of copyrighted content. He was speaking at the Asian Intellectual Property Symposium in Tokyo, to an audience that included the National Police Agency, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the powerful Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry.

The policy, adopted in other countries such as France, sends downloaders an educational notice before sanctions are imposed on repeat infringers. Considered a soft approach by some, the scheme encourages ISPs to take some responsibility for what happens on their networks.

"Graduated response is a common sense approach to online piracy that in the long-term protects creative ideas and supports the economic growth of a number of industries," said Pisano. "This is not about requiring ISPs to police the Internet at all. It's about their responding to a high standard of evidence of infringement and illegal activity on their networks supplied by rights holders."

Earlier this year Japan amended its copyright law to make it illegal to download music or movies distributed on the Internet without the authorization of right holders.

However, the country is seeing an upsurge in illegal online activity, a trend made more potent by movie release windows that are months or years later than elsewhere in the world and the high prices of DVD. New release DVDs were today selling at Tokyo branches of HMV at Y3,990 ($45.31).