The question oframpant DVD piracy was brought up in South Africa's parliament on Monday. TradeMinister Mandisi Mpahlwa reported that police and customs officials betweenJanuary and July this year seized over 286,000 pirated DVDs - double the numberseized throughout the whole of 2003.

Mpahlwa said thataccording to research done by Ster Kinekor Home Entertainment on the consumerperspective of pirated DVDs and games, 77% said the high price was their reasonfor buying pirated DVDs. They retail for between $23 - $30 (R150 - R200) whilepirated DVDs sold on the roadside go for about $9 - $10 (R60-70).

Meanwhile, fourUS agencies yesterday announced a co-ordinated effort to stem the global tradein pirated films, music and other merchandise.

The effort, knownas the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP), includes increasing bordercontrols to intercept fake goods entering the country, targeting the earningsof counterfeiters and publicising the names of overseas companies that trafficin counterfeit products.