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Movies make money for U.S.

first_imgWith filming taking place in almost every state in the U.S., the entertainment industry generated more than 1.3 million jobs and contributed $60.4 billion to the country’s economy, according to a report released Tuesday by the Motion Picture Association of America. The nationwide economic report, based on an analysis of 2005 data from studios, networks, payroll companies, guilds and government agencies, credits the industry for $30.24 billion in wages for workers, $30.2 billon in revenue to U.S. vendors and suppliers. On top of that, the industry generated $10 billion in state and federal taxes. “The creative output of the American motion picture and television industry is widely appreciated around the world, yet its contribution to the nation’s economy is seldom recognized,” MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said. “This report, which provides a conservative snapshot of a global industry, confirms the importance of filmed entertainment production to America’s economy.” The report was unveiled at an MPAA symposium held in Washington, D.C., that included the participation of actor Will Smith, directors Steven Soderbergh and Taylor Hackford, Netflix founder Reed Hastings and several politicians and industry executives. Glickman said the first-of-its-kind symposium was organized to educate and inform policymakers and others about the value of the movie business. “Policymakers need to understand more clearly the economic power of the movies, the incredible risk and investment involved in making a movie, and challenges we face as an industry,” Glickman said. “An event such as this is long overdue in Washington.” Domestic box-office revenue in 2006, driven by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Cars” and “The Da Vinci Code” among others, recovered from sluggish ticket sales in 2005. But the bad news is that the loss from intellectual property theft is generally pegged at around $6 billion, with $3.8 billion of that loss coming from “hard” goods – bootleg DVDs being sold on the streets of New York, Beijing, Moscow and other major cities. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, noted that piracy swipes money not just from celebrities and industry moguls, but also from thousands of middle-class Americans. He described running into one woman in his North Hollywood neighborhood who told him that she lives off the payments of music her late husband wrote for a film. “While you think of some high-paid executives or stars, a huge number of people are below the line,” Berman said. The newly minted chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Rights, Berman said his panel has a full plate of legislation this year aimed at strengthening copyright laws and beating back illegal downloaders. In addition to giving the Justice Department more resources to fight music and movie theft, he said, the panel also hopes to work on ways of enabling government officials or private industries to formally notify an ISP owner that copyrighted material is being shown illegally on a specific site. Once that notification is given, Berman said, it will make it easier for parties to take legal action against a Web site. Berman also noted the importance of hammering out trade agreements with Russia and other countries that respect intellectual property rights. [email protected] (818)713-3758 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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