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Box Office Rises -- But Is Still Threatened By Piracy, Says MPAA

Despite rampant film piracy, the worldwide box office rose 5 percent in 2003 over 2002 with $10.85 billion in ticket sales, according to figures presented Monday by the MPAA during the ShoWest exhibitors conference in Las Vegas. In an address to the convention, Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, president of international distribution for Warner's, claimed that upwards of a billion dollars was lost to pirates last year. Her appraisal was echoed by MPAA chief Jack Valenti, who then remarked: "China is thick with fraudulent copies -- in every street corner, in the flea markets, in the kiosks of five-star hotels, illegal DVDs are available at prices of 50 cents to $1 dollar American currency." Valenti fingered Russia as the chief culprit, however, calling the country "the greatest exporter today of illegal DVDs, masterfully copied."
2004-04-20 22:53:52