The music industry isbelieved to be close to asking the film industry to join forces in the fightagainst piracy.

According to a report in theFinancial Times senior music executives have asked Jay Berman, formerchairman and chief executive of the International Federation of thePhonographic Industry (IFPI), to meet with Dan Glickman, who took over fromJack Valenti as the new head of the MPAA. They want to develop a joint strategyfocused on countering illegal optical disc copying.

If studios agree to thejoint initiative, Berman could be given a mandate to co-ordinate theindustries' global responses, lobbying governments and law enforcementagencies. He would also be expected to work closely with a new senior USgovernment official on intellectual property protection.

IFPI reckons that one inthree music CDs are illegal copies and that pirate sales amount to $4.5bn ayear. The MPAA reckons that illegal sales of its members' films are worth$3.5bn annually.

Screen International's conference on combating piracy will be held inLondon on Tuesday 11 Jan.