'No Country' star calls for global actors rights

Associated Press
Spanish actor Javier Bardem attends a news conference to discuss the evolution of the film industry in the digital environment and address the challenges of copyright at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)  headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, July 19, 2011.  Bardem appeared to call for a new international treaty to protect actors' rights across the globe. (AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre) GERMANY OUT    AUSTRIA OUT
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GENEVA (AP) — In the 2008-film "No Country for Old Men" Javier Bardem's hitman character mercilessly collected unpaid debts with a deadly bolt gun.

When it comes to movie pirates, the 42-year-old Academy Award winner is more understanding.

"People don't have money and movie tickets are sometimes too high," Bardem told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. "I understand that."

Still, Bardem says freeloading off others hurts the nine in ten actors who already struggle to pay the bills with their work.

"What I don't agree with is the mentality of the people, that to do piracy is fine," the Spanish actor said.

Bardem traveled to Geneva to support a new international treaty protecting actors rights across the globe. He was joined by Egyptian actress Esaad Younis, British producer Iain Smith and Indian director Bobby Bedi.

The World Intellectual Property Organization is currently hosting talks on a draft treaty that is expected to be approved by governments next year.

Bardem called for actors to get the same protection as musicians and writers, including the right to earn money from the use of their performance beyond a film's original release. He also said he wants movie tickets to be cheaper — that way even would-be pirates go to see a film at the theater once in a while.

Has he ever downloaded a film or song illegally?

"I barely can put on my iPhone," Bardem said.

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