Responding to reports of widespread video piracy in the Soviet Union and apparent participation by the Soviet government, Jack Valenti, chairman of the Motion Picture Export Association of America, announced a boycott of American films to the Soviet Union.
Valenti wrote a letter to Vladimir Petrovsky, deputy foreign affairs minister of the Soviet Union, saying he had lodged a formal complaint with the State Department. The letter, dated June 4, was released Thursday after representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America expressed their concerns to the Soviet Embassy.Valenti said in his letter that after two years the Soviet Union had failed to implement an agreement signed in September 1988 that provided a framework whereby American film companies could engage in the marketing of their films in the Soviet Union "in a manner similar to the way it is done throughout the developed world: Namely, by sharing in the proceeds of the box office receipts."
Soviet copyright revision drafts "remain inadequate and unresponsive," Valenti said.
Valenti said state-owned television in the Soviet Union "is also engaging in piracy. They have recently broadcast the feature films `Predator' and `Commando,' and have announced the upcoming showing of `Die Hard II.' None of the aforementioned films have been sold to the Soviet Union."