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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Film studios unite to beat piracy
Pirate DVDs
Piracy costs movie studios as much as $3.5bn (1.9bn) a year
Six major Hollywood studios have formed a joint venture to protect their movies from the threat of electronic piracy.

Motion Picture Laboratories will research and create new technologies to stop the unauthorised distribution of films, particularly via the internet.

The company, also named Movielabs, will have offices in Los Angeles and a $30m (16.6m) budget in its first two years.

The studios pooling their resources are Walt Disney, Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros, Universal and 20th Century Fox.

Dan Glickman, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), called the venture "a smart investment".

He said the non-profit company would "help the entertainment industry adopt new means of fighting piracy and protecting copyrights".

Camcorder jam plan

"There are thousands of new concepts floating around the hi-tech community about how to develop tools to fight piracy," said Glickman.

"Researching and developing these technologies now will help save the major studios and other motion picture producers and distributors money in the future."

Planned projects include devising ways to jam camcorders being used to record movies in cinemas illegally, and developing methods of detecting illegal content sharing on peer-to-peer networks.

The movie studios estimate they lose as much as $3.5bn (1.9bn) a year due to the illegal copying of films.

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