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Australia gives teeth to piracy fight

Motion Picture Assn.'s Asia-Pacific arm backs move

SYDNEY — The Aussie government has allocated A$12.4 million ($10 million) to fight piracy Down Under as part of the federal budget.

Piracy was estimated to cost the U.S. studios $6.1 billion worldwide in 2005, with $1.2 billion of those foregone revenues the result of activity in the Asia-Pacific region. Aussie-based agency the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft applauded the allocation of government coin.

“With the budget announcement of ($10 million) to law enforcement to fight piracy, the federal government has given teeth to last year’s significant law reform of copyright crimes,” said org topper Adrianne Pecotic.

In late 2006 Oz introduced a range of measures to combat piracy, including an increased penalty for copyright crimes, on-the-spot fines and more power to police. This week’s move was backed by the Asia-Pacific arm of the Motion Picture Assn.

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