Warner Bros,which has arguably taken the fight to piracy with more zeal than any otherstudio, has stepped up operations with the launch of the industry's firstdedicated worldwide anti-piracy unit.

Darcy Antonelliswill head up the unit following her recent appointment to the new position ofsenior vice president of worldwide anti-piracy operations at the studio(Screendaily, Mar 25) and will liaise with all Warner Bros Entertainmentdivisions, Time Warner public policy officers and the MPAA.

Antonellis plansto establish three global teams alongside the one already in place in Burbankand told Screendaily she expected to have outposts in place in London, Asia andLatin America by the end of the year.

"Piracy is aglobal threat to our industry and it needs a dedicated, multi-disciplinary, worldwideteam to deal with it," Antonellis said.

"This core grouphas been assembled to fight intellectual property theft not only in differentcountries but in difference arenas as well - in courtrooms, classrooms and inthe community."

The unit willdeal with four principal areas - operations and technology, legal andenforcement, public policy and PR and new media initiatives.

Morespecifically Antonellis said the agenda would involve consumer education,lobbying initiatives, liaison with tech companies to develop countermeasuresand liaison with law enforcement agencies on prosecutions.

"There's a bigopportunity to get the message out to colleges and schools and children andyoung adults about the value of intellectual property at a young age," she said,indicating that the unit will adopt a holistic and wide-ranging approach to thepiracy issue.

Jodi NesisBenaim has moved over from senior vice president of corporate business anddevelopment and strategy in Europe to become senor vice president of Europeananti-piracy operations and will be based in London, where she will overseeanti-piracy operations throughout Europe and will report to Antonellis.

As vicepresident intellectual property counsel, Dave Kaplan will continue to overseelegal issues related to worldwide piracy and will report on those matters toAntonellis.

Trevor Alberyhas joined as director of anti-piracy counsel Europe and will be based inLondon, where he will cover legal issues and enforcement and will report toKaplan.

Other members ofthe core team include Dean Marks, senior vice president of intellectualproperty, corporate business development and strategy; Marc Brandon, directorof anti-piracy internet operations; Craig Hoffman, director of corporatecommunications; and Chris Odgers, director of technology operations. All arebased in Burbank.

Antonellisretains her previous title and responsibilities of executive vice president ofdistribution and technology operations. She joined the company in 1998 assenior vice president of distribution technologies and operations, where sheoversaw the company's transition to advanced digital distribution.

Prior to joiningWarner Bros she served in senior technical and engineering roles on thecoverage of three Olympic Games for CBS, earning two Emmys for technicalproduction.