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2010 Film Fund Recipient "A Separation" Takes Best Film at APSA 2011

  • 09Dec 2011

Script development grants totaling US$100,000 were awarded to four filmmakers from the Asia Pacific region at the 2011 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The grants are offered by the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, an initiative of of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), now in its second year.

The four filmmakers, who will each receive US$25,000 from the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund, to be allocated to the script development of new feature film projects, are:

● Shawkat Amin Korki (Iraq/Kurdistan) for his project "Memories on Stone". Shawkat Amin Korki was previously inducted into the Academy in 2007 for "Crossing the Dust", for which he received a Best Achievement in Directing nomination in 2007.

● Peyman Moadi, from the Islamic Republic of Iran for his film "Those Days". Peyman was nominated this year for Best Performance by an Actor for "A Separation", which was the first film to be completed with funding from the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund.

● Maryam Ebrahimi, Iranian-born Swedish filmmaker, for the documentary "Burqas Behind Bars". Maryam was also inducted into the academy this year, winning the Best Documentary Feature Award for "I Was Worth 50 Sheep".

● Pryas Gupta (India) for his "The Cricket Tree". A former member of the APSA International Jury, Pryas was inducted into the academy in 2008. His film "The Prisoner" won the Jury Grand Prize that year.

More than 70 filmmakers from 25 countries submitted entries to the 2011 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund. The fund offers script development grants to stimulate the development of feature film projects originated by APSA Academy members and their colleagues across Asia-Pacific.

The three panel members for the 2011 MPA APSA Academy Film Fund were Australian/Chinese filmmaker Tony Ayres, Australian producer, film historian and distributor Andrew Pike and Chinese scriptwriter and director Xue Xiaolu.

Of the four projects to receive grants in 2010, Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" has already achieved significant worldwide success. It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year where it won the Golden Bear for Best Film as well as the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Actor. It won the Sydney Film Festival's Sydney Film Prize in Australia and tonight it took home tops honours as Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The APSA Academy includes almost 500 of Asia-Pacific's most influential filmmakers. All Winners, Nominees, Jury and Nominations Council members are inducted into the Academy. Since its formation in 2008, the APSA Academy has become a vital industry network. Co-production opportunities are fostered. Ideas and development opportunities are shared.

Mike Ellis - President & Managing Director Asia Pacific MPA, Asghar Farhadi - Director of 'A Separation', Des Power - Chairman APSA



  • 05Dec 2011

The three-day MPA CICE Film Workshop held in Beijing concluded on December 3 with an announcement of the winning filmmakers in the feature film pitch competition.

Brendon Skinner, from Australia, who presented an Australian-Chinese co-production film idea titled The Pulse, was chosen from among sixteen emerging filmmakers from China and the Asia Pacific participating in the feature film pitch competition on the final day of the film workshop.

The winner was announced by Sid Ganis, former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and founder of Out Of The Blue Entertainment: "Brendon is a deserving winner of this impressive pitch competition. His presentation was delivered with clarity and simplicity. He took us on an emotional journey and involved us in the lives of his characters. He also very cleverly communicated the business case for his project. The pitch competition was an ideal final session for the MPA CICE Film Workshop here in Beijing. Congratulations to everyone on a highly successful event."

The winner's prize includes a trip to Los Angeles to meet with Executives from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and their Member Companies, as well as attendance at the American Film Market (AFM) and the annual Chinese American Film Festival.

Five filmmakers were also acknowledged for the quality of their film pitches and rewarded with finalist certificates and trophies of unique Chinese design: Liu Ying, from China, for her film The Scroll, Sho Fujii, from Japan, for his film Intangible, Sitthipol Vannaniyom, from Thailand, for his film Choose Me, Liu Yaonan, from China, for his film I Love You, and Chris Ng, from Hong Kong for his film Fatal Engagement.

Co-hosting the event, Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director Asia Pacific MPA, announced a President's Special Recognition Prize for the film pitch that demonstrated the most promise towards reaching an audience in the Asia Pacific region. Liu Ying, writer of the film The Scroll, was rewarded with a VIP invitation to be the special guest of Mr. Ellis at the 6th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs), which will take place on the Gold Coast in Australia in November 2012.

"The feature film pitching session was a perfect conclusion to what has been a stimulating series of master-classes from some of the best movie and TV minds in China and Asia Pacific," said Mike Ellis.

"We hope that this exercise has proved to be of benefit not only to the emerging filmmakers in this part of the world, but also to our established industry practitioners who gave their time and expertise so generously these past few days.

"During this event we shared knowledge, visions and ideas that we hope will further encourage the growth of quality filmmaking across this exciting region. I thank our generous hosts and partners, the China International Copyright Expo (CICE) who helped us set a high benchmark for this type of event."

The MPA CICE Film Workshop, presented by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) Asia Pacific and the China International Copyright Expo (CICE), provided a master class on a range of contemporary topics on screenwriting, filmmaking, film marketing, film distribution and co-production opportunities between China and the international community. The Workshop also endeavoured to provide an opportunity for filmmakers to develop their careers, build networks and potentially collaborate on new projects.

The Workshop's international and Chinese speakers included Chairman of China Film Group Han Sanping; Deputy Director-General of China Film Bureau Zhang Hongsen; President of China Film Co-Production Corp Zhang Xun; Founder and Chairman of Huayi Brothers Wang Zhongjun; Founder and Chairman of Bona Film International Yu Dong; Managing Director of Shanghai International Film Festival Tang Lijun; President of the Hong Kong Screenwriter's Guild and Vice President of Beijing Enlight Pictures Ltd Abe Kwong Man Wai; Co-Founder and CEO of DMG Dan Mintz; award-winning scriptwriter-turned-director (Ocean Heaven) and Associate Professor at the Beijing Film Academy Xue Xiaolu; Australian film director and scriptwriter Alister Grierson (James Cameron's Sanctum); Award-winning actor, director and Tropfest founder John Polson (Siam Sunset, Swimfan, Hide & Seek and Tenderness); Australian-Chinese writer, director, actor and producer Pauline Chan (33 Postcards, Traps, The Dragon Pearl); Executive Producer and the author of The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide Harris E. Tulchin; Co-founder of Cinecom and Fine Line Features as well as Chair of Columbia University's Film School Ira Deutchman; United Talent Agency Agent and Executive Producer (Animal Kingdom) Bec Smith; Producer Big Daddy, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Mr. Deeds and Akeelah And The Bee and previously President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sid Ganis; Head of Physical Production for Warner Bros. (The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit and Mad Max: Fury Road) Jon Kuyper; international screenwriting teacher "Beyond Structure" David Freeman; and Principal consultant at China Media Consulting and Beijing Film Academy teacher Lora Chen.

CICE is the premier international copyright industry forum and trade show in China, held annually since 2008. In 2012, the Expo will focus on the promotion and protection of film and television content.

The MPA Asia Pacific has hosted film workshops since 2006, providing stepping-stones for emerging filmmakers to develop their careers. In 2006, breakthrough filmmaker Xue Xiaolu participated in the Workshop, won the film writing competition, and landed the opportunity to travel to the US to meet with MPA and member company studio executives. Last year, her film Ocean Heaven, starring Jet Li, produced by Bill Kong and shot by Christopher Doyle, opened the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2010 and Xue Xiaolu was named Emerging Talent of the Year at CineAsia, the region's premiere movie convention in Hong Kong. This year Ms. Xue joined the Workshop us as a guest speaker.

Sho Fujii
Sho is a Film Director and Director of Photography. Currently studies at Digital Hollywood University in Tokyo. He completed the Certificate Program in Directing (film) at UCLA Extension and worked as a director, director of photography, and photographer. He's shot a masterclass of Bernard Hiller. B Camera Operator and 2nd Unit DP for '"African Gothic". His latest short film "Intangible" was considered as the best story and the best cinematography at a UCLA screening.

Mr. Fujii says:
The discussions between Hollywood, Australian, and Chinese famous filmmakers were very interesting. The discussions were on copyrights, situation and foresight of filmmaking and distribution in Asia, Co-production, cutting edge 3D filmmaking, etc., and they made me think about my future. Every after workshop, we were invited to a dinner with government executives, and we went sightseeing around Beijing on the last day. I could experience the up-to-date filmmaking, as well as the Chinese culture, food, and the people, which were all fantastic. I would like to thank for MPA, CICE, and everyone else who helped organizing the workshop.

Dr. Tomoyuki Sugiyama (President/Digital Hollywood University) says:
Mr. Sho Fujii entered Digital Hollywood University (DHU) with ambition to be a world-class film director and he has been plugging away at his studies since then. Mr. Fujii studied at UCLA Extension for eleven months as a part of our study abroad program. He learned techniques for directing, filming and scenario writing and also produced short films while he was taking courses at UCLA Extension. I am pleased that Mr. Fujii won the prize as a result of his study at DHU and UCLA Extension. I will exert all my powers to make his dream to be a film director in reality. He convinced me that he is worth supporting by winning the prize.


  • 31Oct 2011

Tokyo:A joint study undertaken by Ipsos and Oxford Economics on behalf of Japan And International Motion Picture Copyright Association Inc. (JIMCA) was released today, on the side of the Tokyo International Film Festival and indicated that movie theft cost the Japanese economy an estimated JPY 56.4 billion in lost revenue, with 2,600 jobs forgone.

"The JPY 23.5 billion direct loss to the film industry is a staggering figure and suggests that we must all urgently address movie theft, especially online. We need to act immediately as the livelihoods of everyone working in the film community are at stake", said Takashi Ajimura, Representative Director of JIMCA. "More needs to be done in Japan to further strengthen laws to protect copyright and raise awareness of the value of creative content."

"This is a message that it is necessary to respect and protect the people and businesses in Japan who are dependent on the movie industry for their livelihood. This report should be of great concern not only to the people in the creative community but to everyone in the country who must now think of what needs to be done to address this" opined Mr. Mitsuhiko Okura, Chairman of the Japan Association of Theatre Owners. Mr. Tatsumi Yoda, Chairman of the Tokyo International Film Festival, said "The purpose of the Tokyo International Film Festival is to create dreams, hopes and communicate vitality through movies. These high quality works form part of the arts and culture in Japan and can only be brought about when creation - protection - utilization are linked as a circle. I hope, through this report, there will be further understanding that unconscious infringement of copyright destroys such a circle and it prevents the development of our important culture, livelihood and business."

The Ipsos study arrived at the figures by conducting an online survey of 3,000 people aged 15 to 64, between July and August 2010. Apart from the JPY 56.4 billion loss in revenue across the entire Japanese economy and the forfeiting of 2,600 full-time jobs, another key finding of the study revealed tax losses of JPY 6.2 billion due to movie piracy.

Direct consumer spending losses to the movie industry, i.e. cinema owners, local distributors, producers and retailers amounted to JPY 23.5 billion.

Of significance, 17% of the Japanese Internet population surveyed have participated in some form of movie theft or the other (downloading, streaming, buying counterfeit, borrowing unauthorised copies and burning).

The study defines and measures movie piracy as anyone viewing a full-length movie via unauthorised means, including digital theft (downloading, streaming, digital transfer), physical procurement (buying, counterfeit/copied DVDs) and receipt by secondary means (borrowing or viewing unauthorised copies). It allows for the fact that not every pirate viewing is a lost sale.

Download File(PDF)
Economic Consequences of Movie Piracy

About Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA)
JIMCA represents the interests of the major motion picture companies and works closely with the Japanese screen community, government and enforcement agencies to promote screen content and address intellectual property rights infringement and the economic damage it inflicts on businesses and society, not only in Japan, but globally.

Masami Hagino
03 3265 1401

MPA-CICE Film Workshop 1-2 December Beijing

  • 08Aug 2011

On the 1st and 2nd of December 2011, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) Asia Pacific will partner with the China International Copyright Expo (CICE) to host the MPA-CICE Film Workshop in Beijing.

The China International Copyright Expo (CICE) is the premier international copyright industry forum and trade show in China, held annually since 2008. The MPA has enjoyed a close relationship with CICE since launching the Jacky Chan anti-movie theft campaign during its inaugural year. In 2011, the focus of the Expo is film and television.

The Workshop aims to bring together senior international and Chinese film industry professionals and emerging filmmakers to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on filmmaking craft, business and technology. The Workshop also aims to provide an opportunity for filmmakers to develop their careers, build networks and potentially collaborate on new projects.

The MPA Asia Pacific has hosted film workshops since 2006, often providing stepping-stones for emerging filmmakers to develop their careers. In 2006, emerging filmmaker Xue Xiaolu participated in the Workshop, won the pitching competition, and landed the opportunity to travel to the US to meet with Studio executives. Last year, her film Ocean Heaven, starring Jet Li, produced by Bill Kong, and photographed by Christopher Doyle, opened in a number of territories to critical acclaim. It opened the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2010 and Xue Xiaolu was named Emerging Talent of the Year at CineAsia, the region's premiere movie convention in Hong Kong.

The MPA CICE Film Workshop is a two-day program focussing on a range of hot topics of interest to filmmakers from the Asia Pacific, such as:

Day 1 Thursday 1 December
・Opportunities for growth and innovation in the screen industry in China
・Co-production and business opportunities between China and the international community
・Developing a script that works
・Producing feature film and television in the US
・All things digital, 3D and creative approaches
Day 2 Friday 2 December
・Welcome to China: Working with government, creative partnerships, conducting good business and legal tips
・Innovative and entrepreneurial ways to develop your filmmaking career
・Feature film script pitching competition

The MPA CICE Film Workshop will be presented by a number of acclaimed Chinese and international film practitioners, likely to include*:

Xue Xiaolu
Lora Chen
Sid Ganis Harris E. Tulchin
Ira Deutchman
Alister Grierson
Bec Smith
John Polson
Pauline Chan
(Workshop speakers subject to change)

【Speaker Biographies】

Xue Xiaolu
Xue Xiaolu is an award-winning scriptwriter-turned-director and Associate Professor at the Beijing Film Academy's Literature Department. Miss Xue has written nine feature film screenplays which have been theatrically released, including Together, for Chen Kaige. In 2009, Miss Xue wrote her directing debut Ocean Heaven, starring Jet Li in his first non-action film. The film opened the 13th Shanghai International Film Festival (2010) and later won her the Emerging Talent of the Year Award at CineAsia. Miss Xue is a member of the Selection Panel for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund which will be announced on 24 November 2011.

Lora Chen
Lora Chen is a principal consultant at China Media Consulting, Culver City, California. She specializes in business development and strategic planning for US Corporations in doing business with China. Her client list includes Paramount Parks, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as various independent production companies, and law firms. Ms. Chen is currently developing and teaching a graduate course: "U.S. Filmed Entertainment business systems and operations" at the Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China.

Sid Ganis
Sid Ganis founded Out Of The Blue Entertainment in 1996 following a distinguished career as an executive at several major studios including Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. and Paramount. As a producer, Ganis found box office success with Big Daddy, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and Mr. Deeds and the critically acclaimed Akeelah And The Bee, which he co-produced with his wife Nancy Hult Ganis. Mr. Ganis served four consecutive, year-long terms as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Currently, he is co-executive producer on the drama series Pan Am for ABC.

Harris E. Tulchin
Harris E. Tulchin is a graduate of Cornell University and Hastings Law School. He has practiced law since 1978 and is principal of the international entertainment and multimedia law firm Harris Tulchin & Associates. He has lectured extensively at forums such as UCLA, AFI, IFP, Digital Hollywood and USC. Mr. Tulchin has served as Executive Producer on several feature films and is the author of The Independent Film Producer's Survival Guide - a step-by-step guide to the business and legal issues involved in producing an independent film.

Ira Deutchman
Ira Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on over 150 films including some of the most successful independent films of all time. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features - two companies that were created from scratch and in their respective times, helped define the independent film business. Currently Mr. Deutchman is Managing Partner of Emerging Pictures, a New York-based digital exhibition company. He is also a Professor of Professional Practice in the Graduate Film Division of the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where he is the head of the Producing Program.

Alister Grierson
Alister Grierson is an Australian film director and scriptwriter. He graduated in Economics and Arts from the Australian National University and studied Japanese in Tokyo. He later gained a Master of Arts in Directing at the Australian Radio Film & Television School. He has made 15 short films and won three Tropfest awards. Mr. Grierson co-wrote and directed the WWII feature film Kokoda, and most recently directed James Cameron's Sanctum, a 3D cave-diving drama, using the Cameron-developed Fusion Camera System. The script for Sanctum was inspired by the near-death experience of one of the writers, Andrew Wight, who was trapped in a cave collapse during a dive under the Nullarbor Plain.

Bec Smith
Bec Smith is an agent in the Motion Picture Literary Department of leading talent and literary agency UTA, as well as an agent in UTA's Independent Film Group where she focuses on the packaging, financing and sales of independent film. Ms. Smith joined UTA from the Sydney office of Working Title Films where she was Head of Development. Prior to working in development and production she was the Australasian bureau chief of the Hollywood Reporter and the editor of Inside Film Magazine in Australia. Smith executive produced the David Mich?d-directed independent feature Animal Kingdom, which won the 2010 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic World Cinema Jury Prize. Smith currently serves on the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Advisory Board.

John Polson
John Polson is an award-winning actor and director, as well as the founder and director of the World's Largest Short Film Festival, Tropfest ( As a feature film director, Mr. Polson has made Siam Sunset, Swimfan (starring Jesse Bradford & Erica Christensen), Hide & Seek (starring Robert De Niro & Dakota Fanning), and Tenderness (starring Russell Crowe & Laura Dern). Mr. Polson has directed some of the top-rating US television series including Fringe, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, Lie To Me and Flash Forward.

Pauline Chan
Pauline Chan is an Australian-Chinese writer, director, actor and producer, best known for her feature film Traps and as director of the new Australian-Chinese co-production 33 Envelopes, starring Guy Pearce. Reviewed as a 'Premier Australian filmmaker' by Time Asia, Ms. Chan made Australian history in 1996 as the first Asian Australian appointed by the Governor General as a Commissioner of the Australian Film Commission. For more than 20 years, Ms. Chan has produced and directed films and television programs, many of which were selected for official screenings in prestigious festivals including Cannes, New York, Toronto, Shanghai, Sydney and London. In 2010 Ms. Chan served on the Selection Panel for the MPA APSA Academy Film Fund.

MPAA'S Senator CHRIS DODD Urges Partnership to Advance CHINA Into the Global Film Market

  • 13Jun 2011

The Future of China's Film Making Community Relies On Its Adoption Of Fair Trade Practices And Universal Industry Service Standards

Singapore / Shanghai - In his keynote speech at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) today, Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd called on the Chinese film community to broaden its engagement with the world, and suggested Hollywood expertise could help it reach its full potential.

Senator Dodd was a guest of honor at the SIFF, and addressed an audience of 200 made up largely of senior government officials, key players in China's domestic film industry, and international guests at the festival's co-production forum.

"China's movie market is a success story in the making," said Senator Dodd in talking about helping China develop a thriving film industry. "All the ingredients are there for China's film industry to become a major player on the world stage, just as China has always been a major player on the world cultural stage."

Dodd spoke about the important relationship between the American film industry and Chinese filmmakers, Chinese audiences and even the Chinese government. "One of my top priorities as a representative of the American film industry is to build upon that relationship, to help it deepen and blossom, so that it can form the foundation for a world class film and cultural sector," he said.

He noted that Hollywood studios and their Chinese counterparts are coming together to share best practices, build relationships, and identify cultural touchstones that can form the basis for future projects. "But we know that the way to keep that growth continuing is to keep working to build our relationship with all sectors of the Chinese film industry - moviemakers, distributors, exhibitors." During his visit to China as the Chairman and CEO of Motion Picture Association, Dodd will be meeting with senior government and industry leaders as well as executives from the country's leading film studios and entertainment companies.

Dodd comes at a time of exponential expansion of China's film industry. In the last decade, the number of films produced in China has grown from dozens each year to hundreds - 526 in 2010 alone. The number of cinema screens has increased to 6,200 and is expected to more than double by 2015, to more than 16,000. And box office revenues, which passed $1.5 billion last year, are forecast to more than triple by 2015, to $5 billion.

Originated in 1993, SIFF is China's premiere and only A-category film festival accredited by FIAPF. Organized by the Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group, the 14th SIFF will be held from June 11 to 19 in Shanghai, and is expected to attract participants from over 100 countries and more than 1,500 films.

Japanese police Arrest Man for Uploading Movies onto Nico Nico Video

  • 24May 2011

On May 23, 2011 officers from the Computer Crimes Control Center of the Metropolitan Police Department and Koji-machi Police Station arrested a 35-year old man living in Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture for uploading unauthorized movie files on to Nico Nico Video, the most popular user-generated content (UGC) site in Japan, after YouTube.

The suspect, who went by the user name "Bell", was first spotted by investigators from the Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA) in the summer of 2010. Together with officers from the Computer Crimes Control Center, Community Safety Bureau of the Metropolitan Police Department, investigations were conducted as the suspect continued to post unauthorized content on the site. On December 9, 2010 the police managed to track down the identity and address of the suspect.

During his arrest, the suspect admitted that he had uploaded over 40 titles, which included Japanese and international films. The police are currently carrying out further investigations into the extent of his activities. Under the Japanese Copyright Law the penalties for such criminal activity are fines of up to 10 million yen and/or up to jail term of 10 years.

"We commend the officers from Metropolitan Police Department for tracking down this suspect and their commitment to clamp down on such criminal activity," said Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, for the Motion Picture Association (MPA). "Such efforts are crucial toward thwarting online content theft in Japan, and represent important steps toward protecting the rights and livelihood of the film community in this country. "

Man arrested for releasing movie files using file-sharing software "Share"

  • 10May 2011

On April 26, police officers from Cyber-crime Control Office, Chiba Prefectural Police Headquarters and Chiba Chuo Police Station arrested a 43-year old man living in Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, for suspicion of violation of the Rights of public transmission, Copyright Law.

With police, the man was the first uploader of a popular movie file on the internet without authorization and made the file available to the public. The title was "Unstoppable" of the 20th Century Fox with starling Denzel Washington and co-starling Chris Pine. Also, he uploaded many other movie files on the internet without authorizations and police has been now investigating him.

Recently, the number of arrestees for infringement of the copyright law by abusing file-sharing software or for illegal distribution of copied goods has been increasing, particularly those in their 40s or 50s.

Company owner arrested for releasing movie file using file-sharing software "Winny"

  • 09May 2011

On April 4, Cyber-crime Control Office, Hyogo Prefectural Police Headquarters and Higashi-nada Police Station arrested a 53 company owner for suspicion of violation of the Rights of public transmission, Copyright Law.

With police, the man made many movie files available for the public on the internet using file-sharing software “Winny.” He released the illegal file of “The Social Network” of Sony on the internet around two weeks earlier before the releasing it in Japan. The Cyber-crime Control Office has recently beefed up the measures against illegal activities on the internet and identified the illegal uploading during the patrol. Police raided his residence on April 4 and arrested him on the same day, and seized many DVD-Rs, PC and others as well. On April 22, the court sentenced him a fine of 300,000 yen.

The case was the first raid by the Cyber-crime Control Office, Hyogo Prefectural Police Headquarters that set up on April 1 for handling cyber crimes abusing the internet.