September 19, 2005

Hollywood studios form tech group to fight piracy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood's six major film studios
on Monday unveiled a technology venture to find new ways of
protecting movies from illegal copying and distribution in
black markets or over the Internet.

Motion Picture Laboratories Inc., or Movielabs, will look
for new technologies to detect illegal videotaping of films in
theaters and evaluate new computer hardware and software that
is being used by networks to distribute films.

The venture's goal is to discover technologies that combat
piracy then recommend their use to universities, companies,
Internet service providers and other network operators, the
groups said in a statement from the Motion Picture Association
of America.

The movie studios figure they lose as much as $3.5 billion
a year in revenues due to the illegal copying of movies on
videotape and DVD, and they are deeply concerned about possible
further losses due to digital distribution via the Internet.

Movielabs founding owners are Walt Disney Co's Walt Disney
Pictures and Television, Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures, News
Corp Inc's Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Sony Corp's Sony
Pictures Entertainment Inc., General Electric Co.'s Universal
City Studios and Time Warner Inc Warner Bros. Entertainment

The new venture will headquarter in Los Angeles and operate
as an independent, non-profit corporation.

Financial details were not disclosed.