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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
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Thirteen members of an alleged international film piracy ring have been arrested in New York.

Industry officials allege the group is responsible for using camcorders in cinemas, then copying and distributing millions of bootleg films worldwide.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) believes the group may be responsible for nearly half of all illegal recordings made in the US.

Piracy cost the global film industry $18.2bn (10bn) in 2005, the MPAA say.

Prison term

Michael Robinson, an anti-piracy official for the MPAA, said the group allegedly used computer file-sharing networks to distribute the counterfeit films to various countries, including Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

One of the films the suspects were conspiring to profit from was Superman Returns, which is released in the US on Wednesday, officials allege.

The arrests, which came after raids across the New York area, were the culmination of a three-year investigation conducted by the FBI

Each of the suspects could face five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy, copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

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