On June 13, the U.S. Embassy in Brunei Darussalam hosted a special screening of the movie ‘Man of Steel‘ at Times Cineplex in Berakas. The event, themed “Creative Industries and Intellectual Property Rights” aimed to raise public awareness regarding the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR). Protecting IPR promotes innovation and ensures artists are fairly compensated for their works, which inspire us and enrich our daily lives. The event was attended by almost 200 guests including Motion Picture Association-International (MPA-I)’s Commercial Executive for the Asia-Pacific Farina Yusof, government officials, students, local artists from the creative industry, and members of the media community.
U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Daniel Shields said, ‘The United States and Brunei place a high value on innovation and creativity, and we both see the importance of protecting original work. It is encouraging to see the progress made this year alone in the ongoing efforts to fight piracy and raise awareness among the public and youth.”
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Motion Picture Association – International for supporting this event,” Ambassador Shields continued.
Brunei Darussalam was recently removed from the ‘Special 301 Watch List,’ which is the result of an annual U.S. Trade Representative review of the state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement in trading partners around world.
Remarks by Farina Yusof Commercial Executive, Asia-Pacific,
Motion Picture Association-International (MAP-I)
On behalf of the Motion Picture Association, it is a pleasure to be here this afternoon in such esteemed company for such a worthy cause. I would like to thank Ambassador Shields and his team for hosting this screening of “Man of Steel”.
Today’s event provides a great opportunity to come together to acknowledge the originality and creativity of filmmakers. The creative work of filmmakers entertains us, educates us and enriches us through the most powerful story telling medium the world has ever known. Cinema takes us to new worlds -sometimes to the corners of our globe which we’ve yet to experience; and at other times to fantastic worlds of the imagination.
We owe it to the creative generations of today and of tomorrow to appreciate their work for the value it adds to our day to day lives. It is important to raise awareness about the value of creativity and intellectual property, and the need to provide the best possible environment to protect it. In this regard, Brunei has shown significant progress in enhancing its status as a supporter of intellectual property rights with its recent removal from the USTR Special 301 Watch List.
We are all the stakeholders of intellectual property within our communities, and therefore we should work together to value and protect that IP. And as stakeholders, we share a common goal of providing a legitimate marketplace for films and other creative works to flourish.
Our business is ultimately a creative business, which relies on being able to take great ideas, turn them into films or television shows, and find ways of getting them in front of audiences.
Every step of that process requires thought, imagination and talent. We probably take it all for granted when we’re here in the theatre, planted in comfy chairs in front of a big screen and munching popcorn, but every second of movie footage that we’re enjoying requires a tremendous amount of time, effort and coordination to make it happen.
Filmmakers are tremendously talented and hardworking, but unfortunately they are not supermen. They can’t use kryptonite to prevent their valuable work from being taken without their permission. They could certainly use us mere mortals to do our part by choosing to view films the right way -at the cinema, on TV or DVD. or via legitimate online platforms.
Moviemaking is truly inspired by creativity and innovation, but we need to protect it, in order to continue creating it and enjoying it. As MPA’s former chairman the late Jack Valenti famously said -“If you can’t protect what you own, you don’t own anything.”