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UK film biz hires piracy-busting 'cinema investigator'

Is that a camcorder in your pocket..? etc, etc

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UK film distributors have coughed up the cash to fund a "cinema investigator" to tackle the menace of ne'er-do-wells filming new releases direct from the silver screen and transferring the resulting footage to moody DVDs.

According to the Beeb, the former police officer will "train cinema staff and examine incidents where recording equipment has been used in cinemas".

UK Film Distributors' Association top dog Mark Batey said: "Films have never been more vulnerable to rip-off copying. We believe the appointment is very timely."

Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) supremo Raymond Leinster elaborated: "In recent months it became apparent that the worldwide release strategy made films vulnerable to camcording in the UK. Pirates of the Caribbean, which has its premiere tonight in London, will be available to the public by Thursday.

"The first copy is traditionally posted online. Digital infrastructure will, within many hours, disseminate that on a global basis."

Fact claims film piracy generates an annual illicit revenue of £270m, and that the cinema industry "loses more than £810m per year in lost sales and cinema admissions from piracy and illegal downloads" - equivalent by our reckoning to around 80 Learjet 45s fitted with private screening room, hot tub and artisan-crafted coke-snorting mirror. ®

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