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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Fake DVD seizures up 41% on 2004
DVD piracy costs the film industry billions every year
Seizures of fake DVDs are dramatically higher than the same period last year, according to anti-piracy campaigners.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) confiscated 680,000 pirate DVDs between January and March - a 41% rise on the same period last year.

The Industry Trust for IP Awareness now estimates the value of the black market DVD trade - worth 600m in 2004 - to exceed 1bn within three years.

Case studies suggest increased links between piracy and organised crime.

They include a raid carried out in east London in March that recovered "enough cocaine for 15 deals" alongside thousands of counterfeit DVDs.

"Many people turn a blind eye to the trade as it is perceived as a 'soft' crime," said Lavinia Carey, director general of the British Video Association and director of the trust.

"However, sellers are involved in a much wider web of criminality.

"Anyone who buys pirate DVDs has to open their eyes to the fact that they may inadvertently be supporting crime in their own community."

The Trust for IP Awareness' second annual report was published on Wednesday to coincide with World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.

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