Australian anti-piracy campaign launches

Ads with 'Neighbours' stars reach out to school-age kids

SYDNEY -- The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and a grouping of film industry organizations under the umbrella of the Intellectual Property Awareness Trust unveiled their latest anti-piracy campaign Wednesday at the Australian International Movie Convention.

Titled "Nothing Beats the Real Thing," the campaign uses the stars of hit Aussie soap "Neighbours" in a bid to get school-age kids to understand and respect film and television copyright.

The education packs, which are being rolled out to 3,000 secondary schools around the country, include quizzes, interactive games and activities that feed directly into all areas of the Aussie high school curriculum.

"Neighbours" star Natalie Blair said the campaign "has the potential to turn the tide in favor of respect for film and television copyright."

The campaign aims to "increase the value attached to the creative contribution necessary to produce the television shows and screen stories we all love so much," she added.

The IP Awareness Trust, which includes AFACT, the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia, exhibitors, DVD retailers and rental chains, said that research shows that it was the 13-17-year-old age group who are most likely to change their attitudes.

Piracy is estimated to cost the Australian industry about AUS$230 million ($190 million) a year in lost revenue.