Taskforce takes fight to entertainment fraudsters

3 September 2003
More legal news

04 September 2003 | Colleen Harris

Government and UK film industry officials are joining forces in a major crackdown on counterfeit computer games, music and films.

Pirated media products cost the UK film industry £400 million last year, up by 83 per cent on the previous year, according to research by the UK's Federation Against Copyright Theft.

Nigel Green, joint managing director of film distribution company Entertainment Film Distributors, is spearheading the new anti-piracy taskforce, which is set to meet this month.

Green said piracy is a direct attack on the jobs of more than 50,000 employees in the UK's film and video sector and inhibits the growth of British industry.

Other taskforce members will include representatives from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK film producers and the actors' union Equity.

A spokesman at the UK Film Council said: "The project is in its very early stages and we haven't drawn up a plan of action yet. Battling with piracy and finding solutions is tough and expensive for Hollywood studios. Hopefully we can get together and brainstorm."

Industry leaders are increasingly alarmed that pirates can not only produce better quality fakes but improve packaging that dupes consumers into believing they are buying the real thing.

Steve Playle, spokesman for the Trading Standards Institute, a government body for fair trading and market control, said: "The technology used to produce packaging is the worrying trend. DVD covers used to be quite bad quality but now they're excellent.

"Even some of the boxes that come with perfumes now are really superb copies."

SMsep2003

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