UK sets up DVD piracy task force

The UK film industry and the government are joining forces to take on DVD pirates

The British film industry and the government have decided to set up a new body charged with tackling movie piracy, it was announced on Monday.

The taskforce will be chaired by UK Film Council director Nigel Green and will include representatives from the actors' union Equity; the Department of Culture, Media and Sport; and assorted industry types including producers, distributors and cinema owners.

The anti-piracy body will be responsible for assessing the extent of DVD and video counterfeiting and finding ways to tackle it.

FACT -- the Federation Against Copyright Theft -- estimates that the cost of counterfeiting to the UK's domestic film industry is around £400m, with around three in every 10 videos bought in the UK being copies.

The move comes in the wake of several high profile seizures of counterfeited DVDs -- including one haul valued at over £3m in Essex -- which are said to be used to fund the activities of criminal gangs in the UK and abroad.