TheMotion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has teamed up with the city of NewYork to crack down on piracy through new legislation and noise abatement laws.

Thecity will introduce legislation to criminalise illegal recording of copyrightedworks and will coordinate with the MPAA to use nuisance abatement laws to shutdown piracy operations in buildings across the city.

Thepartners will also create a public service campaign to educate the public aboutpiracy, which the MPAA estimates cost the US majors $6bn in 2005.

MayorMichael R Bloomberg also joined with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn andWhoopi Goldberg to announce members of the Task Force on Diversity in Film,Television, and Commercial Production, which will recommend ways of increasingdiversity among New York's entertainment production workforce.

'Weare leading the fight against movie piracy in the city with our unique effortsaimed at protecting local theaters' box office revenues and maintaining thestrength of the film industry, which pumps $5bn in economic activity into thecity each year and employs 100,000 New Yorkers,' Bloomberg said.

'Weapplaud Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York for becoming a model for othercities of what we can do together to combat film piracy, which is the singlegreatest threat to our industry,' MPAA chairman Dan Glickman said.

'Thisinitiative will help to limit the source of piracy in New York and ensure thatthe local industry and theaters, retailers and others in the business of makingand selling movies can continue to flourish.'

Workingwith law enforcement authorities, the partners will identify buildings in NewYork City where suspected DVD piracy operations are ongoing. The city will thencommence legal action against landlords or owners who knowingly allow piracyoperations to remain on their premises, possibly resulting in fines or closureof the premises.

Thenew legislation outlawing the illegal recording of copyrighted work will amend penallaw so that perpetrators will face a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up toone year in prison, if convicted, and a class E felony, punishable by up tofour years in prison, for any subsequent convictions.