Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), has highlighted the importance of protecting the creative industries’ intellectual property.
Delivering a State of the Industry Address at movie theatre trade show and congress CinemaCon, Rivkin expressed optimism for the industry, based on the MPAA’s continuing work to protect creativity, open markets, and generate economic growth.
“Making sure our creative works are valued and protected is one of the most important things we can do to keep that industry heartbeat strong,” he told delegates. “At the Henson Company, and WildBrain, I learned just how much intellectual property affects everyone. Our entire business model depended on our ability to license Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the Muppets and distribute them across the globe,” he advised.
“I understand, on a visceral level, how important copyright is to any creative business and in particular our country’s small and medium enterprises – which are the backbone of the American economy. As Chairman and CEO of the MPAA, I guarantee you that fighting piracy in all forms remains our top priority,” he asserted.
“One of the ways that we’re already doing that is through the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment – or ACE as we call it. This is a coalition of 30 leading global content creators, including the MPAA’s six member studios as well as Netflix, and Amazon. We work together as a powerful team to ensure our stories are seen as they were intended to be, and that their creators are rewarded for their hard work,” he stated.
“I am grateful to all of you for recognising what is at stake, and for working with us to protect creativity, such as fighting the use of illegal camcorders in theatres,” he declared.
“Protecting our creativity isn’t only a fundamental right. It’s an economic necessity, for us and all creative economies. Film and television are among the most valuable – and most impactful – exports we have. In addition to the projection of American ideas and soft power, they account for $16.5 billion in exports,” he noted.
“We export four times what we import and register a trade surplus with nearly every one of the 130 countries in which we do business – $12.2 billion in total. That is why we engage with policy makers and stakeholders around the world to open markets, remove discriminatory business and trade barriers, and protect the incredible works that drive a strong creative economy,” he said.
“Here at home, the creativity we support and protect directly contributes to jobs and economic opportunities in every state of the union. Our industry supports 2.1 million jobs and $139 billion in wages every year. Those jobs and wages go to set builders and ticket takers. Artists and engineers. We provide economic opportunity to more than 400,000 businesses across the country. Most of them are small businesses that employ fewer than 10 people. When one of our movies or television series shoots on location, they bring jobs, revenue, and related infrastructure development to that state’s economy,” he added.
“In New York, for example, two Oscar-nominated films, The Post and The Greatest Showman, brought in more than $108 million. And right here in the great State of Nevada, our industry has created more than 5,500 jobs, either directly or in jobs related to production, for a total of $178 million in wages,” he revealed.
In concluding remarks, he called on industry representatives to work together with the MPAA. “Together – let’s continue to promote and protect our creators. Together – let’s continue to embrace new advances in technology – in how we tell stories and how we reach audiences. Together – let’s keep working to reduce the threat of piracy. And together – ladies and gentlemen – let’s always deliver on the promise of our creative industry: high quality stories that speak to the hopes and dreams of our audience. And will continue to do so for generations to come,” he asserted.