China: Japan’s CODA warns moviegoers that camcording in theatres is illegal, damaging

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Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association (CODA) sent a direct appeal to moviegoers in China via WeChat, hoping to reduce the occurrences of camcording of movies from Japan in Chinese theatres.

“Recently, CODA and member companies have found that many Japanese films that are being released in theaters have been stolen.

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“Piracy of movies in cinemas and uploading pirated videos to the Internet is a serious violation of copyright and prohibited by law,” the announcement continued.

“This kind of behavior will not only cause serious losses to film producers, but also undermine the orderly development of the film industry. Filmmakers are unable to invest in new works without enjoying legitimate benefits.

“To this end, CODA calls for an end to movie piracy! Resolutely don’t watch pirated movie videos! Please go to the cinema to enjoy the genuine movie!”

Social media platform endorsement

WeChat’s parent company Tencent Holdings accompanied CODA’s announcement with a confirmation that the CODA content is genuine:

“In order to encourage high-quality content to be produced on the WeChat public platform and protect the rights and interests of authors, the Wechat public platform gives the original author the opportunity to make a statement and identify the original content…” and explains its policies regarding original content and sharing.

Original notice

CODA’s call for the theft of Japanese films being released in theatres. ¬†Announcement. June 15, 2023. CODA Beijing Representative Office

Introduction to the Original Protection function of the public platform.  Statement. Accessed June 20, 2023. WeChat (Tencent Holdings)

Why it matters

While such statements are not particularly effective on their own, it is hoped that repeated exposure to them might prompt some consumers to think twice about infringing practices.

CODA’s announcement follows a similar appeal earlier in June by a British filmmakers advocacy group, to watch movies at the cinema. The spirit of the two announcements was the same. ¬†CODA made its appeal both in theatres and through social media while the UK’s BASE appealed to moviegoers in theatres only.

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