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CinemaCon: MPA Chief Blasts Piracy By “Real-Life Mobsters” Who “Engage In Child Pornography, Prostitution, Drug Trafficking” The Solution? “Site-Blocking”

Motion Picture Assocation Chairman and CEO continued to not hold back at , delivering another Eliot Ness-fueled, colorful crusade speech against piracy.

“Remember – these aren’t teenagers playing an elaborate prank!” exclaimed Rivkin in a drum that’s been beaten by the since the days of the org’s forefather Jack Valenti.

“The perpetrators are real-life mobsters … organized crime syndicates – many of whom engage in child pornography, prostitution, drug trafficking, and so many other societal ills!”

“They operate websites that draw in millions of unsuspecting viewers whose personal data can then fall prey to malware and hackers,” Rivkin said.

Make no mistake here at CinemaCon where the crusade against anti-piracy is very serious. during studio presentations at the exhib-studio confab, but take out your phone and the security guards will jump on you — even if you’re not pointing it at the screen. Last night, CinemaCon security was especially aggressive toward attendees who casually had their phones out on armrests during the Fall Guy screening at Caesars Colosseum, even before the projector light hit the screen, barking attendees to put their phones away — and this was during the introduction when NATO exec Mitch Neuhauser and an NYC exhibitor were onstage speaking. Nothing to pirate there! On the plus side, at least CinemaCon doesn’t zip up attendees’ phones ala a Disney premiere.

Still, Rivkin seriously emphasized that piracy “steals hundreds of thousands of jobs from workers and tens of billions of dollars from our economy, including more than one billion in theatrical ticket sales.”

“Let me repeat that last point: in an average year, online piracy costs your theaters more than one billion dollars at the box office,” he emphasized.

Part of the problem with piracy in the current theatrical vs. streaming era is that clean copies of movies on short windows find their way online faster and quicker in what is even more of a game of whack-a-mole for the MPA and those crusading against piracy.

In the battle against piracy, Rivkin said today, “I’m announcing the next major phase of this effort: the MPA is going to work with Members of Congress to enact judicial site-blocking legislation here in the United States.”

He continued, “For anybody unfamiliar with the term, site-blocking is a targeted, legal tactic to disrupt the connection between digital pirates and their intended audience.”

“It allows all types of creative industries – film and television, music and book publishers, sports leagues and broadcasters – to request, in court, that internet service providers block access to websites dedicated to sharing illegal, stolen content.”

Rivkin said that site-blocking in a common tool in 60 countries and “does not impact legitimate businesses or ordinary internet users. To the contrary: it protects them, too.” He championed that site-blocking reduces traffic on piracy sites.

“Simply put, this is a powerful tool to defend what our filmmakers create and what reaches your theaters.”

Rivkin gave an example of how site blocking works as it stifled FMovies, a piracy site that clocks over 160 million visits per month. Other nations passed site-blocking legislation, slowing traffic to FMovies, but “a third of that traffic still comes from the United States.”

“Imagine if those viewers couldn’t find pirated versions of films through a basic internet search. Imagine if they could only watch the latest great movies when they’re released in their intended destinations: your theaters,” he added.

“If we had site-blocking in place, we wouldn’t have to imagine it. We’d have another tool to make that real.”

Rivkin poured water on any notion that site-blocking gets in the way of free speech.

“Examples of free speech violations are practically non-existent,” he said, “Safeguards exist to ensure the protection of everyone’s legal rights.”

“And even if Members of Congress can’t seem to agree on much these days, surely they can find common ground on action to protect American businesses, defend American workers, and strengthen our public safety.”

Rivkin summed up, “The MPA is leading this charge in Washington. And we need the voices of theater owners – your voices – right by our side. Because this action will be good for all of us: Content creators. Theaters. Our workforce. Our country.”