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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June 2004, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Anti-piracy film trailer unveiled
film piracy
Australia has experienced an upsurge in movie piracy
A cinema trailer that compares the illegal download of films with other serious thefts has been launched in Australia, it is reported.

The anti-piracy film likens such downloads to stealing cars, said film industry website Screen Daily.com.

It said 1,900 copies of the trailer had been distributed, and the format would be adapted for use globally.

An Australian court sentenced a person to jail for the offence last week after a recent surge in piracy.

The trailer was produced in the US by the Motion Picture Association of America, and adapted for an Australian audience - as it will be for nations throughout the world.

Apathy warning

Neil Pentecost, president of the Cinema Owners Association of Australia, outlined what he felt were the main threats faced by cinema bosses.

As well as piracy, he pointed to the shortening of the time between cinema and DVD release, speed of DVD penetration, and pay-TV platforms offering near-video-on-demand services.

Warning against apathy, he said: "I firmly believe intellectual property theft has the potential to decimate the business if it gets out of hand."

Adrianne Pecotic, executive director of Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (Afact), said there had been an increase in people using camcorders in cinemas to record films.

But she said most pirated products still came from Asia.

From January to March this year, 25,600 illegal copies were seized by Australian customs officers compared to 4,796 in the same period last year.

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