FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW INITIATIVES TO CRACK DOWN ON FILM PIRACY AND INCREASE DIVERSITY IN NEW YORK'S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, October 29, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"New York City's unemployment rate is now 4.5%-lower than the national rate, and the lowest unemployment rate the city has had since February 1988. That shows that our five-borough economic development strategy is really paying off. And our booming film industry continues to play a starring role in our thriving economy.
"Because of our "Made in NY" tax credits, and the brilliant work that our Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting does promoting and assisting this $1.5 billion-a-year industry, during 2005 we set a new record of more than 31,500 "shooting days" for movies, commercials, and TV shows. The city's three major studios in Queens and Brooklyn are booked solid. And all that spells jobs for New Yorkers in all five boroughs-more than 100,000 jobs, in occupations ranging from casting to carpentry to catering. But we're not stopping there. A few days ago, along with leaders from management and labor, we launched two major new initiatives to strengthen New York's bonds with this all-important industry.
"The first is a comprehensive crackdown on the growing crime of movie piracy. The bootlegging of DVDs and video cassettes costs the film industry more than $6 billion a year. And that's not a victimless crime. It's often carried out by organized gangs; it weakens a key industry in our city; and it kills jobs for New Yorkers. So, working with the Motion Picture Association of America, we're attacking movie piracy in New York on three fronts.
"First, we're going to identify film-pirating locations, and launch undercover operations designed to shut them down. By suing to close these locations as public nuisances, and by seizing counterfeit videos, we're going to hit movie pirates, and the landlords who play ball with them, where it hurts: In their wallets. Second, we'll ask the State Legislature to pass new laws making the "camcording" of copyrighted films a misdemeanor for first-time offenders, and a felony for repeat lawbreakers. And third, we're going to mount a print, electronic, and internet public education campaign to get the facts out about the seriousness of film piracy. Combined, these efforts will begin to turn the tide against movie pirates.
"Our second initiative is designed to increase diversity in the industry's "behind the camera" jobs. To help us do that, we've appointed a "Task Force on Diversity in Film, Television, and Commercial Production." Co-chaired by Deputy Mayors Dan Doctoroff and Dennis Walcott, it includes other top Administration officials, as well as leaders from management and labor, and representatives from the City Council. Over the next six months, this task force will look at the most successful efforts already underway to increase employment diversity in the industry, and then make recommendations on replicating them and helping them grow.
"New York City has always been a popular place to set movies, television shows, and commercials. The recently published book, Scenes from the City, which celebrates 40 years of filmmaking in New York, shows that. Now our industry-friendly initiatives have established all five boroughs as welcoming places to make these productions. And by continuing to work with the industry, we'll help New Yorkers keep the cameras rolling here for many years to come.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958