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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November 2004, 10:46 GMT
Studios sue internet film pirates
Dan Glickman, head of the MPAA
Film boss Dan Glickman recently announced a piracy crackdown
Hollywood film studios have filed their first wave of lawsuits against people in the US who trade pirated films over the internet.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced two weeks ago it would sue anyone caught swapping or downloading digital copies of films.

The organisation said the civil suits would seek damages of up to $30,000 (16,300) per film.

A spokesman said the cases were filed across the US but did not say how many.

The future of our industry, and of the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports, must be protected
Dan Glickman, MPAA president

John Malcolm, director of worldwide anti-piracy operations for the MPAA, defended the decision not to say how many people were targeted.

He said: "It's not important. It doesn't matter if it's 10 lawsuits or 500 lawsuits. The idea here is that there is no safe harbour."

The MPAA announced over a week ago they would start filing lawsuits on 16 November under the Copyright Act, saying copyright piracy costs studios billions of dollars every year.

It followed a move by the music industry to crackdown on illegal downloading, copying and sharing by suing more than 5,000 people.

Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA, said in a statement: "The motion-picture industry must pursue legal proceedings against people who are stealing our movies on the internet.

"The future of our industry, and of the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports, must be protected from this kind of outright theft using all available means."

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