The movie industry is trying a new tactic in its war against people who download pirated copies of films over the Internet -- it's asking nicely. \nMovie studios were to launch a campaign yesterday that includes television ads and in-theater spots featuring makeup artists, set painters and other crafts people saying that piracy robs them of a living. \nThe Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has also developed a curriculum on copyrights for use in classrooms by Junior Achievement. \nThe "Digital Citizenship" program covers the history of copyright and culminates with a nationwide contest in which students suggest ways to persuade peers that swapping illegal copies of music and movies is not only illegal, but wrong. \n"I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for me or for other executives," said Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp, whose Twentieth Century Fox studio made the spots. "What we are endeavoring to do is both communicate that it's wrong and also communicate that there are human stakes and that those stakes are not just millionaires making less millions." \nThe film and music industries have been aggressive over the past year or so in enforcing their copyrights in the courts as well as lobbying for tougher laws to punish those who swap music and movie files over the Internet. \nWhile copies of popular blockbusters can be found on the Internet -- sometimes days before the movie is released to theaters -- computer copies of films are still too large to download easily and are often poor quality copies made using hand-held camcorders. \nMusic files, by contrast, are smaller and are CD quality. That fact led to services such as Napster, which was shut down after legal action taken by the music industry. \nMovie studios believe they still have a few years before Internet connections become fast enough to threaten them in the same way. Studios are experimenting with new business models, including making films available legitimately online through services such as Movielink. \n"We're not sitting on our hands like the music business did," Chernin said. \nUltimately, studios will succeed only if they move quickly to offer legitimate alternatives that consumers want, analysts say. \n"It may just be that consumers aren't quite ready yet to turn to the Internet for movies," said Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "But when they are, the answer will be to offer them a compelling legitimate alternative, not telling them to behave themselves." \nThe 30-second television ad will have its first run tomorrow night on all the broadcast networks and most cable channels during their first prime time break, sometime after 8:00pm. The first of several trailers will begin running Friday in most major theater chains around the country. \nThe first trailer features David Goldstein, a set painter who says that piracy hurts him more than film industry executives. Each ad ends with the tag line, "Movies. They're worth it." \nThe campaign will also include a Web site that outlines the moral implications of illegal downloading as well as the legal and practical consequences. \n"Taking something that doesn't belong to you is wrong," said Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA. "It's in the long term interest of people to understand there is no free lunch."
‘GOOD SIGN’: Thanks to public efforts, the number of COVID-19 cases is on a downward trend, the minister of health said, but told people not to let their guard down The COVID-19 situation appears to be relatively stable and on a downward trend, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, as he reported 185 domestic COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. “This seems to be a relatively good sign,” Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a daily news briefing. In Taipei and New Taipei City, the overall situation seems to be heading in a good direction, he added. He attributed it to public efforts to control the spread of the virus, but warned people against letting their guard down. Of the new local cases, 83 are males and
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
The EU is set to lift travel restrictions for US and Taiwanese residents as soon as this week, in the latest step toward a return to normal, despite concerns over the spread of potentially dangerous COVID-19 variants. Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, proposed adding Taiwan, the US, Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Serbia to a so-called “white list” of countries from which non-essential travel to the bloc is allowed, a diplomat familiar with the matter said. Assuming no objections, EU government envoys in Brussels would today approve the expanded
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early