The Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) has teamed up with Adlabs and PVR Cinemas in India in a bid to stop camcord piracy.

The Make A Difference campaign involves anti-camcord training sessions for theatre employees across the sub-continent, where illegal recordings on camcorders smuggled into theatres are the chief source of piracy.

Fame Adlabs, Fun Republic and other cinemas will also be part of the nationwide training initiative. According to the US India Business Council/Ernst & Young 2008 report entitled The Effects Of Counterfeiting and Piracy On India’s Entertainment Industry, the Indian film industry lost $959m and 571,896 jobs due to piracy.

The most up-to-date MPAA figures reveal that member studios lost $6.1bn to worldwide piracy in 2005. Despite repeated requests by Screen International, the MPAA has declined to issue more current numbers.

“Piracy is a global menace – more than 90% of newly released movies that end up appearing illegally on the streets and on internet sites originate from illegal copies made in cinemas,” Adlabs COO Tushar Dhingra said. “With the advancement of technology, piracy is getting a boost but the same technology can also be used in order to curb the spread.”

“Movie piracy results in fewer movies being financed, which means jobs are not created and local goods and services – such as cinema tickets - are not purchased,” PVR Cinemas CEO Amitabh Vardhan added. “Movie piracy is not a victimless crime and it robs local businesses of a livelihood and the capacity to provide local employment.”

“As we continue to have more day-and-date releases in India of Hollywood titles, the number of camcords coming out of the country is likely to rise,” MPAA CEO and chairman Dan Glickman said. “However, while piracy – particularly camcorder source piracy – is damaging to the movie business, it need not be inevitable.