French pirates like it made in U.S.A.


PARIS -- Homegrown films are getting short shrift from local pirates in France, who invariably choose blockbuster Hollywood fare over Gallic productions to rip off, according to a new study.

Almost 60% of U.S. films were pirated in 2006 compared with no French films, according to the study from Gallic film organization the CNC and national piracy-fighting association ALPA.

"The number of films pirated in 2006 is stable," the groups said in a study. A slightly higher 93.6% of films pirated were available before their DVD release date in France in 2006, compared with 91.8% in 2005 and 91% in 2004.

Some 40.5% of films released in the territory last year were available dubbed in French on the illegal market, an average of 41 days after their theatrical release.

The number of films pirated before their theatrical release jumped to 37.7%, compared with 34.5% in 2005 and 35.7% in 2004.

"Furthermore, these films were primarily available in high-quality format" the study said.