U.K. sets major anti-piracy push

Includes large-scale collaboration between agencies, gov't

LONDON -- The U.K. film industry is throwing its weight behind the most ambitious anti-piracy drive yet by aiming to "make London a fake-free zone" by the 2012 Olympics.

The campaign, billed as the largest ever collaboration on anti-piracy, will be formally announced Wednesday and is being led by the Motion Picture Assn. and U.K. Film Council, with support from the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, Federation Against Copyright Theft, London Councils, London Trading Standards Assn. and the Metropolitan Police.

"The aim of Fake Free London is to enable and assist enforcement agencies across the capital in tackling the manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit DVDs and the organized criminal networks enabling and profiting from this illegal trade," FACT chief Kieron Sharp said.

Copyright theft cost the film and TV industries an estimated 486 million pounds in 2007.

Part of the initiative will be free December screenings of Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" that will take place in all three London boroughs to encourage people to see movies on the big screen.

A program also will be put into place next year which will see local libraries receive DVD donations, allowing members of the public to come and borrow non-pirated discs.
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