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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Film industry hails 'piracy win'
Jack Valenti
As president of the MPAA, Jack Valenti represents Hollywood studios
The US movie industry has hailed its settlement with a company making copying software as an important step in its fight against DVD piracy.

Software firm 321 Studios agreed to pay a "substantial" settlement to the Motion Picture Association of America.

The company was forced to close down last week after a federal court ruled its copying program illegal.

The MPAA says the financial settlement will go towards raising awareness of illegal copying and copyright theft.

321 Studios had argued that it had developed the programs DVD X Copy and Games X Copy as a means for customers to back up their own DVDs and games.

But the MPAA and games makers argued the programs, which circumvented copy protection devices, infringed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Earlier this year federal judges in New York and California stopped 321 from marketing the DVD-cloning software.

Worldwide fight

MPAA president and CEO Jack Valenti was pleased a settlement had been reached, after a drawn-out legal battle which started in 2002 with lawsuits filed on both sides.

Mr Valenti said: "This isn't the end of the story in our integrated worldwide fight against piracy and we will use the settlement money to educate consumers about the tremendous harm that illegal copying inflicts on one of America's greatest products - motion pictures."

The MPAA was one of a number of organisations seeking to shut down 321 Studios' operation, with Vivendi Universal Games and Warner Home Video UK also joining the fight.

The Copy Control Association, an industry group which overseas copy-protection of DVDs, had also filed a claim that the software infringed its patents.

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