The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) just released its annual Theatrical Market Statistics, and the findings are welcomed by the industry and the economy. Last year, worldwide box office revenues hit an all-time high of $35.9 billion.
Despite hundreds of other movie-watching options, like Netflix and Hulu, viewers are still making their way to the theaters for their entertainment experience.
So why does this matter? Because the motion picture industry is a huge contributor to the U.S. economy. The industry directly employs 284,000 individuals, and supports another 1.9 million other jobs.
Unfortunately, all the success and development of the motion picture industry continues to draw thieves. Online piracy of copyrighted films is threatening innovation and the jobs of so many Americans who rely on the movie business. Why spend more money to invest in new film technologies if online pirates will reap all the rewards?
While it is great that we can celebrate the successes of the motion picture industry, we must keep in mind that the successes would be much greater without online piracy. Copyright protections drive innovation and economic growth. We must continue to make it a priority to enforce them.