The UK video industry has raised £1.2m to bankroll a new company to help fight piracy.
The Industry Trust for IP Awareness Ltd has been registered as a non-profit making company with the objective creating a fighting fund to tackle copyright theft, which it says is costing the film and video industry upwards of £500 million.
The inaugural meeting took place on Thursday last week, with key high street retailers and video distributors agreeing the terms of engagement for a concerted effort to fight IP theft.
British Video Association Chairman, Marek Antoniak (managing director of Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment), described video piracy as "a problem which affects every part of the supply chain of our industry". He added that, as video generates the largest return to movie makers, and the public has demonstrated an insatiable desire for more new movies, we have a responsibility to continue look after our industry for the future.
The founding company members includes 12 distributors and four retailers who will now decide how funds will be spent across a range of tactics, including retail training, government lobbying, additional support for the industry enforcement agency FACT and to raise consumer awareness of the links between counterfeiting and serious and organised crime.
HMV's product director, Steve Gallant, one of the directors of the new company, said: "We will be launching our programme this summer, in time for the popular car-boot sale season, and by then we hope that many more will have joined the new Industry Trust to protect our future business."