The Motion Picture Association (MPA)released a new research result on piracy in China onMonday, which suggested that local filmmakers and industry players are sufferingmuch more from widespread film piracy than foreign film companies. Few localindustry members, however, expect the situation to improve anytime soon.

The research suggests that in 2005, thetotal industry loss caused by piracy in China is$2.7bn, with $1.5bn in damage to the Chinese film industry but only $244m tothe Hollywood studios.

Released Monday during the ShanghaiInternational Film Festival, the research is the first in China toexamine the piracy situation from the local industry's perspective. It was undertakenby the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) with professor Xiao Lian.

The results showed that 61 percent ofindustry respondents, comprised of production, distribution and exhibitioncompanies as well as government agencies, said they believe movie piracy willcontinue to increase, while no one among the nearly 100 interviewees believethe piracy market will shrink.

The research also finds that legal opticaldisc sales only account for 17.7% of the production capacity of licensed discproduction lines. In 2003, Chinareported 744 registered optical disc production lines with an estimated annualcapacity of 2.7bn discs. But according to the 2003 China Statistics Almanac thesales of legal discs was 353.5m.

According to prior MPA commissionedresearch, conducted by LEK Consulting, the pirated optical discs industrymaintains a 93% market share in China.

"The CASS research shows thatChinese film companies are badly hurt by movie piracy and it is alarming thatthe majority of these organizations do not see improvement on the horizon,"said Mike Ellis, senior VP and regional director of Asia Pacific for the MPA.