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In Australia: Organized crime ‘dominates porn industry’ Sez Director of Adultshop.com

Australia- ORGANISED crime is pocketing up to 97 per cent of the estimated $300 million adult DVD wholesale market in Australia, a leading porn distributor says.

Adultshop.com managing director Malcolm Day [pictured] told NEWS.com.au his company supplied almost all the legal DVDs in Australia but was being by beaten by crime syndicate piracy.

“It (the piracy) has become so sophisticated that most consumers would not be able to pick the fakes,” Mr Day said.

“It is a $300 million dollar wholesale industry and that is why organised crime wants a piece of it

“They sell about 97 per cent of all adult DVDs in Australia.”

An Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said intellectual property crime, including copyright offences, had become attractive to organised criminal syndicates as it offered a high financial return from a low investment base.

“Active investigations are helping the AFP provide evidence of the money trail linking crime syndicates with piracy and counterfeiting,” she said.

“The AFP has an increased focus on targeting the organisers, financiers and wholesalers involved in intellectual property crime to prevent these products coming onshore.”

Graeme Dunne, executive officer of the Adult Industry Copyright Organisation, said litigation was the main weapon the industry used to fight piracy.

“AICO formed because businesses were being ripped off and even if they are X-rated DVDs the Copyright Act applies equally to them as anything else,” Mr Dunne said.

He was more conservative in his estimates of the adult DVD industry but said pirated material accounted for about 85 per cent of a $150 million industry.

Fiona Patten the chief executive of the Eros Association, which represents adult retail and entertainment companies, said the industry was also threatened by YouTube style websites and file-sharing online.

Ms Patten said the pornography industry wanted to crack down on stolen content but was wary of a backlash from internet communities similar to when the music industry moved to shut down websites like Napster.

“We are probably handling file sharing differently than the music industry, we are working out how to work with the sharing models – people are willing to pay for this amateur content so we are looking at ideas like pay-per-view models,” she said.

“The production companies realise they need to have a presence on those sites, if you can’t beat them – join them, and are looking at dealing with more realistic prices, and pay by the minute products.”

Adultshop.com’s Malcom Day said internet piracy was only a minor concern because long download times and bandwidth costs in Australia made it less attractive to consumers.

Adultshop.com runs online and retail stores selling pornographic material and sex toys and also runs the largest pornographic DVD wholesaler Calvista.

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