As soon as Christmas came within sight, the Motion Picture Association wasted no time getting into the festive fun by announcing the launch of ‘Operation Blackout’. Cleverly named to darken the mood of the world’s pirates (who are doubtless hoping for a contrasting White Christmas un-ruined by MPA action), ‘Operation Blackout’ is said by the Business of Cinema to be an “aggressive anti-piracy enforcement initiative”, targeting video-camera equipped movie-camming pirates in 13 countries.
The MPA must be serious if they gave it it’s own codename like the police and military do. Nice touch.
“Illegal camcording remains a high priority with our member companies. We will ramp up our anti-camcording activities during these region-wide blitzes which are a key component of our annual enforcement operations” said the MPA’s Senior Vice President, Mike Ellis.
Running right up to 31st January 2008, dangerous missions against people with cameras will be carried out in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Operations will be focused on screens showing brand new movies and those caught will probably be made an example of, as part of the wider aims of the movie industry to re-educate the public by putting them in jail.
The start of ‘Operation Blackout’ will be accompanied by the launch of a new interactive web site (down at the moment) which itself is linked to a DVD-based training package. Aimed at cinema management, this combination of services will be their route to direct advice from the MPA on how best to catch the evil cammers in their own theater.
With a deadly straight face the MPA’s Mike Ellis sang this ominous warning:
“We can say this to all the pirates out there: you’d better watch out, you’d better not try”