Hollywood's six major film studios have unveiled a joint venture to find new ways of protecting movies from illegal copying and distribution over the internet or the black market.

Motion Picture Laboratories Inc., or Movielabs, will look for new technologies to detect illegal videotaping of films in theatres and evaluate new computer hardware and software that is being used by networks to distribute films.
The movie studios lose as much as $3.5 billion a year in revenues due to the illegal copying of movies on videotape and DVD and want to work out a way to stop it.

The goal is to discover technologies that combat piracy then recommend their use to universities, companies, Internet service providers and other network operators, the groups said in a statement from the Motion Picture Association of America.

Movielabs founding owners are; Walt Disney Pictures and Television, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Universal City Studios and Warner Bros.

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