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Seized pirate booty doubles, says MPA

The Motion Picture Assn. reported that pirate video seizures worldwide nearly doubled last year, thanks to stepped up liaison work and enforcement by local authorities in troubled countries.

In 1996, MPA logged the confiscation of more than 5 million video cassettes, compared with 2.9 million in 1995. Investigations doubled to 42,547, and the number of recorded raids globally jumped 35% to 16,291.

“Piracy increasingly is an organized criminal activity, because its low risk often brings high profits,” said Jack Valenti, MPA chairman and CEO. “In 1996, the MPA expanded its focus on source investigations, detecting and dismantling sources of piracy.”

MPA’s anti-piracy programs include hiring local liaisons to lobby government officials to beef up and enforce pi-racy laws. Last year, MPA opened a representative office in China, and added anti-piracy programs in Peru, Costa Rica and Panama.

MPA spokeswoman Marisa Pickar said a big reason for the jump in seizures was the expansion of enforcement programs to more countries, most notably China, which is considered by U.S. authorities to be the most pervasive piracy offender in the world.

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