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06/03/2006

Video industry to call time on the pub pirates

According to new research more than one in five pirate DVDs are currently sold in pubs and cafés.
The organisation set up to highlight the problem of DVD crime, the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, is now urging consumers and licensees to make it last orders for the pirates.
The new campaign highlights the risk to licensees of turning a blind eye to illegal trade on their premises and explains why pub-goers should not be tempted by fake DVDs. The sale of pirate copies is known to support local crime as DVD pirates are often involved in other forms of criminality, including possessing offensive weapons, involvement with drugs, pornography, benefit fraud and people smuggling.
More than 36,000 information packs are being sent out to licensees, urging them to kick out the pirates, while also highlighting the legalities of pirate DVDs being sold on their premises. The PR drive will be supported by a national advertising campaign including pub washroom posters, licensed trade press, outdoor posters and more than 1.5 million branded beer mats. The theme will be ‘pirate DVDs do have their uses’, showing novel uses of pirate discs, such as beer mats, ashtrays and even urinal splash-back mats.
According to IPSOS, the market for fake DVDs is up 20% on last year, with a loss to the audio-visual industry caused by copyright theft in 2005 of more than £818,000,000. New figures released from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) show that pirate DVDs are increasingly being produced within the UK, rather than imported from abroad. There has been an increase in the seizures of pirate DVDs in the UK, and throughout 2005 seizures of home burned‚ DVD-Rs shot up by a massive 136% compared with the same period in 2004.
Commenting on the campaign, Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association, and Director of the Industry Trust, said: “All the evidence tells us that both licensees and customers get bothered by DVD pirates and many of us will have witnessed this taking place in pubs and bars up and down the country. But while it might be tempting to buy one, people need to stop and think where their money is really going. This campaign aims to support licensees to ensure this crime doesn’t take place on their premises, while highlighting to members of the public that what seems like a bargain is probably a poor quality copy, and your money may well be going directly into the pockets of criminals.”
Raymond Leinster, Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said: "Pirate DVDs are produced by serious and organised criminals who see DVD piracy as a high profit, low risk activity, and a means to fund other illegal activity such as money laundering. While members of the public often perceive DVD piracy as a ‘soft crime’ it is important for them to realise that this is not the case. Initiatives such as this will help get the message across to a wide group of people and help stem the significant problem of pirate DVD sellers in pubs and bars.”
Anyone who is aware of DVD pirate activity can report it by calling the campaign hotline 0845 60 34567 or via the campaign website www.piracyisacrime.com.
(P Izzard)
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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