22 May 2003 | Robin Parker
Entertainment companies are calling for action to curb a massive rise in the sale of pirated DVDs, CDs and computer games.
They are demanding more resources for police and trading standards bodies to remove and prosecute people who are openly selling counterfeit goods at car boot sales and trade fairs.
And they are warning that they may have to put up prices to counter the loss of income unless piracy is curbed.
Chris Sanders, joint vice-president of procurement for the Warner Brothers and UCI cinema chains, told SM that the industry is lobbying governments including the UK, the US and Asia-Pacific countries, to stamp out the production and sale of fake goods.
He said the growth of digital technology, and the escalating popularity of DVDs, has caused an explosion in the volume of suppliers selling illegal copies, which cost the industry billions of pounds in revenues each year.
"The advent of DVD has taken piracy to an art and is encouraging competition among illegal suppliers to produce higher quality copies," he said.
"Now we are seeing more than 20 stalls at car boot sales openly selling films, some of which haven't even reached the UK yet."
As it gets harder to tell the difference between genuine goods and fakes sold for a quarter of the price, these stalls are seeing repeat custom and even taking advance orders, he said.