MPA to wield antipiracy Trident

Operation to target factories and illegal burning operations

HONG KONG — The Motion Picture Assn. has launched another attack on piracy in the region. Three-pronged plan dubbed Operation Trident will hit up the source of pirated goods — factories and illegal burning operations — and the pirates that transport pirated DVDs and VCDs to other parts of the world while cracking down on vendors.

It also will work to cut back on pirated pic availability in retail shops, markets and street vendors in an effort to protect cinema ticket sales and the legal video market.

The operation will run in 13 countries and territories in the Asian-Pacific region through Jan. 31.

“It is clear that containing well-organized transnational criminal activity requires constant and close collaboration between industry stakeholders and law enforcement agencies,” said Mike Ellis, senior veep and regional director of the Asian-Pacific region for the MPA.

“Working closely with law-enforcement agencies and governments around the region, we expect Operation Trident to have a significant impact on the availability of illegally pirated movies that damage sales of theater tickets and homevideo products,” Ellis added.

In the past two years, MPA antipiracy sweeps have netted more than 2,500 arrests; more than 23 million pirated optical discs have been seized.

In 2005 alone, MPA operations in the region investigated more than 34,000 cases of piracy. Org also helped law-enforcement officials with more than 10,500 raids.

MPA member studios have lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005, according to a study. About $1.2 billion of that is from the Asian-Pacific region, with $1.3 billion attributed to the U.S.

The operation will take place in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

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