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Piracy booming biz in Australia

Number of pirated DVDs now rivals legitimate copies

SYDNEY — Illegal copies and movie downloads last year cost the Australian entertainment industry an estimated A$233 million ($180 million), according to statistics published by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.

A global report into piracy commissioned by the Motion Picture Assn. and conducted by L.E.K. Consulting over 18 months has found the number of pirated DVDs in circulation now rivals legitimate copies.

A study of Aussie consumer attitudes toward piracy found nearly one-fifth of the 20 million population last year watched a movie on pirated DVD before its cinema release.

Some said they knew piracy was wrong but enjoyed beating the system. Others said they had no moral problem with pirating and that there was little chance of being caught.

“These attitudes are disturbing and demonstrate the need for better enforcement and consumer education about why piracy is wrong both legally and morally,” said Alan Finney, BVI Oz topper and Motion Picture Distributors Assn. of Australia prexy.

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