LOS ANGELES — The optical-media industry is stepping up its fight against content piracy.
The Optical Media Manufacturers Association is circulating an anti-piracy agreement, said Adrian Farmer, deputy chairman of England-based Nimbus Technology & Engineering Ltd. and OMMA chairman. The agreement was announced at a Feb. 20 news conference during Replitech North America in Los Angeles.
Separately, the International Recording Media Association said Tony Perez will become the first full-time director of IRMA's anti-piracy compliance program, effective March 12. Perez has managed the Ruckersville, Va., plant of Technicolor for the past year and has extensive industry experience.
Rushton Capers came out of retirement to lead the domestic IRMA effort on a part-time basis. Theo Kohler of Spaarndam, the Netherlands, continues as full-time director of IRMA's European anti-piracy effort.
OMMA listed 28 signers, including major machine and resin makers, and solicited hundreds of other Replitech exhibitors for participation. OMMA, a coalition of Princeton, N.J.-based IRMA, aims to put together an anti-piracy program for equipment managers, Farmer said.
Meanwhile, IRMA has a program for replicators that has certified seven plants in North America and three in Europe. Another 29 optical-media replication facilities are working through the program.
"Over three years, our goal is to have 100 plants [certified]," said Charles Van Horn, IRMA president.
The program costs about $10,000 per plant and is based on ISO 9000-type criteria. More than 80 United States and about 120 European sites replicate discs.
Van Horn cited two egregious 1999 piracy examples and said they led to creation of IRMA's compliance program.
Copies of the film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace were available on streets in five Asian countries two days after the epic's release in the United States and months before the planned Asia opening.
A New York crackdown confiscated 32,000 illegally copied movies in the largest closure of a videotape lab to date. Annually, the pirates grossed $15 million and deprived industry of $35 million in sales.
IRMA has developed trade-sector-specific anti-piracy guidelines in conjunction with six software, content-holder and digital-technology groups.