Pisano wants legal DVD promotion


BEIJING -- Bob Pisano of the Motion Picture Association has called on China to promote legal DVDs -- not just crack down on illegal ones.

At the signing of an agreement for better cooperation with the China Film Copyright Association over the weekend, Pisano, president and COO of the MPA, lauded China's efforts at raising public awareness of the piracy problems. Then he called for more action.

"We urge the government to adopt and promote a pro-legitimate policy that will enable the industry to effectively compete with pirated products which are widely available in the country," Pisano said at the Second China International Copyright Expo.

In many of China's biggest cities where shops openly sell pirated DVDs, it often is difficult to find licensed DVDs unless one goes to non-specialized chain stores such as Wal-mart or Carrefour. 

Hollywood studios complain that Chinese law bars them from selling their movies direct to China's growing number of consumers of filmed entertainment. The MPA calls Beijing's import controls "outdated" considering the country's accession to the World Trade Organization in late 2001.

Pisano also called for greater access to the Chinese market and for cooperation from market authorities.

"In its effort to fight piracy and help develop legitimate online businesses, the MPA has actively engaged the Chinese government and industry in its effort to seek sustainable business models that would adopt effective copyright protection technologies and mechanisms," the group said in a statement on Monday.

Last week, Pisano was in Japan calling on lawmakers and film industry executives to do more to tackle online piracy in that country.