Motion Picture Association (MPA) and China Film Copyright Association (CFCA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to encourage closer collaboration between the two organisations, particularly on illegal camcording.

The MOU was signed in Beijing at the 2nd China International Copyright Expo by MPA president and COO Bob Pisano, MPA Asia Pacific president Mike Ellis and Zhu Yongde, chairman of the CFCA.

The two groups will work closely to monitor the level of illegal camcording in cinemas, specifically in mainland China. The camcording situation has worsened in the country since many studios moved to releasing film day-and-date in a bid to prevent piracy.

It is understood that following the release of Paramount’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in late June, illegally-recorded content from the film was available on a several online video websites in China.

According to MPA, more than 90% of newly released movies that end up appearing illegally on the streets and online originate from illegal copies made in cinemas.

Pisano called Chinese authorities to take a stance against piracy and support legitimate content. He added that China’s home video business is being devastated by a lack of legitimate retail outlets, inadequately slow censorship and rampant piracy.  “We urge the government to adopt and promote a pro-legitimate policy that will enable the industry to effectively compete with pirated products which are widely available in the country,” Pisano said.

He also urged China to open it market up to foreign content. “Foreign entertainment products are under strict government import control when entering China and outdated regulations and administrative barriers restrict foreign companies from investing in the wholesale and retail audio-video business sector.”