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HOLIDAY BLITZ TAKES AIM AT DVD PIRATES SHOPPERS RECEIVE WARNING.

Byline: GREG HERNANDEZ Staff Writer

Has someone tried to sell you a DVD of ``Borat'' or ``Casino Royale'' for a steal?

If the offer seems too good -- or too new -- to be true, it probably is, the Motion Picture Association of America warned Monday.

``If shoppers come across DVDs of films that are still playing in theaters, they are definitely pirated copies,'' said Mike Robinson, the MPAA's vice president and director of U.S. anti-piracy operations. ``Holiday shoppers should be sure to purchase DVDs from legitimate retailers to ensure they are buying genuine high-quality copies of the films they love.''

The MPAA and the Recording Industry of America have joined forces with the launch of Holiday Blitz, a campaign they hope will reduce the impact of DVD and CD pirates who they consider to be the real Grinches who steal Christmas.

The MPAA and the RIAA are working with law enforcement in California and 10 other targeted states and Puerto Rico in their extensive crackdown. During last year's Holiday Blitz effort, approximately 1.3 million illegal CDs and DVDs were seized.

According to the MPAA, piracy cost the movie industry $18.2 billion worldwide last year -- more than $11 billion of which was lost to hard-goods piracy, including bootlegging and illegal copying.

The recording industry reports that the trade of pirate music discs was worth $4.5 billion globally in 2005, with 80 million discs seized -- up from 36 million discs in 2004.

During the Holiday Blitz, there will be heightened security in movie theaters to prevent illegal camcording. On the music side, there will be stepped-up coordination between the RIAA's online and physical goods piracy operations to quickly identify a prerelease track or album available via peer-to-peer networks. Those titles will be placed on heightened alert for street piracy investigators nationwide.

``When the hard work of music professionals is undermined by piracy, everybody loses,'' said Brad Buckles, the RIAA's executive vice president of anti-piracy. ``Music is the quintessential gift during the holiday season, and when consumers buy the real thing, everyone wins.''

Shoppers who want to make sure they are being law-abiding should beware of suspicious packaging that includes such things as misspelled words, blurry graphics and weak colors. CDs and DVDs without shrink wrap or liner notes are also likely to be fakes.

greg.hernandez(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3758
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 21, 2006
Words:392
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