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Saturday, February 01, 2003
Pirated 'Lord of the Rings' DVDs seized


British authorities have seized more than 10,000 pirated DVD copies of the movie "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" in recent weeks, a copyright protection body said Wednesday. The Federation Against Copyright Theft and British customs have found thousands of the DVDs since mid-January, when they first showed up in Britain, said FACT's director of operations, Spencer Mott.

Most of the DVDs came from Malaysia by air freight and appeared to have been pirated from digital copies that filmmakers sent to Oscar voters, Mott said. The high-quality counterfeits suggested that "somehow, some of the (studio) copies have got into the wrong hands," Mott said.

Studios send digital copies of their films to judges of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in hope of winning Oscar votes. "The Two Towers" is the second film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy. A spokeswoman for Peter Jackson (news), who directed all three movies, said he was unavailable for comment on the British haul.


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