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Clampdown on DVD crime in pubs

Pubs are set to be targeted as part of a massive nationwide awareness campaign to help stamp out DVD piracy. Around 36,000 pubs will be sent an anti-piracy pack as part of the campaign – the biggest-ever targeted at licensees.

Licensees who “turn a blind eye” to this sort of activity could find themselves facing prose-cution with a possible loss of licence.

The operation, being run by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, is set to be launched on March 1 and will focus on consumers as well as licensees.

According to a survey by market research company IPSOS, 26 per cent of people who have obtained pirate DVDs have bought them in pubs and restaurants.

The awareness packs, being sent to pubs, will include beer-mats in the shape of a DVD, awareness posters and a letter spelling out the legal risks of DVD piracy. Posters will highlight the fact that by buying pirate DVDs people are supporting crime.

Lavinia Carey, director general of the British Video Association, said: “In addition to the research that’s been carried out, we know from anecdotal evidence that licensees do get bothered by people selling pirate DVDs.

“The people who trade in illegal DVDs see it as a high-profit, low-risk activity and have not been deterred before. We are determined to support licensees to ensure their premises are crime-free.”

According to the Federation against Copyright Theft (FACT) which is the anti-piracy body for the television and DVD industry, more than two million pirate DVDs were seized last year – a 136 per cent increase on 2004.

Tony Payne, chief executive of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers’ Associations, said he welcomed the campaign. “Some of these traders think pubs are an easy target, so licensees must be aware of the dangers of allowing them on their premises, he said. (Source: The

Story filed 20.02.06

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