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Friday, 16 June, 2000, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Top studios in piracy battle
Ally McBeal
Ally McBeal is just one of the programmes under threat
Several of America's top film and TV studios are suing an internet company for piracy of their productions.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Time Warner and Twentienth Century Fox, are among seven companies taking legal action against RecordTV.com.

They allege that RecordTV has been recording their films and TV shows and illegally retransmitting them over the web.

The studios are being backed by the powerful Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) .


James Bond poster
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The case further highlights the growing struggle of major film, TV and production companies to protect their products as the internet becomes increasingly more powerful but difficult to police.

Goldwyn Mayer, Time Warner and Fox alone are the names behind blockbuster movies such as James Bond, Pokemon, The Matrix and hit TV shows such as Ally McBeal, King of the Hill and Sabrina.

Other star players in the global movie and TV production industry joining their action include Walt Disney, Paramount, Columbia and Universal.

Their action against RecordTV charges the site with copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and violation of cable TV laws.

They want RecordTV to be served with an injunction to stop them from copying and airing their productions in the future.


The Matrix
Keanu Reeves in Time Warner's Oscar-winning The Matrix

The MPAA - and its international counterpart, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) - serve as the voice and advocate of the US movie, video and TV industries in the US and abroad.

Their backing in the case against RecordTV follows a similar piracy case in February in which MPAA sued Canadian website ICraveTV.com.

The site was eventually forced to shut down.

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