Italian groups team for anti-piracy effort

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ROME -- Several leading Italian cultural groups have joined forces to form the Sistema Cultura Italiana (the Italian Culture Network), a group whose main order of business will be to fight piracy and protect intellectual property rights, the group said Wednesday.

The group's membership includes Italian film industry association ANICA, video producers' group UNIVIDEO, the Italian Federation of the Music Industry, the National Entertainment Companies Assn., and the Association of Italian Editors. The group will operate under the auspices of Condindustria, the powerful Italian industrial association.

According to a statement, the group was formed to combat the problems of piracy and abuse of other intellectual property rights, which it says are increasing due to technological advances and "ineffective and improperly enforced" laws.

"The time has come for industry to weigh in on this battle against the abuse of intellectual property rights," the statement said.

The body also will represent other collective interests of its membership as they arise. It will lobby to protect the rights of Italian films, television programming, music and literature as well as international products that may be subject to improper usage in Italy.
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