LONDON — The U.K. film community is setting up a anti-piracy taskforce under the chairmanship of distrib Nigel Green.

Its aim will be to map the piracy problem, estimated to have cost the British movie sector £400 million ($640 million) last year, and to identify possible solutions.

Green, who heads Entertainment Film Distributors and sits on the board of the U.K. Film Council, will be joined on the taskforce by government officials, plus reps from all sides of the industry, including the major U.S. studios.

“More than 50,000 people work in the U.K.’s film and video sector and piracy is a direct attack on their jobs and our economy generally, inhibiting the growth of our industry,” Green commented.

“The film business is an international industry and film piracy is a global problem,” he continued. “Acting at a U.K. level this taskforce will complement and support efforts being made to tackle this scourge across the world.”

According to the U.K.’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, there was a 100% increase in seizures of pirate DVDs in 2002, with 659,000 illegal copies being recovered.

This year, pirate copies of “The Hulk,” “T3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” were circulating in the U.K. even before their theatrical release.