Leading figures from the UK film industry used last week’s AGM of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness to pledge renewed efforts to raise awareness of the threat of IP theft to the sector.

Speaking at the event, held at the London HQ of Sony Pictures International, Callum McDougall, Executive Producer of Quantum of Solace, warned that the industry was at risk of coming tumbling down “like a house of cards” if the sale of ‘knock-off’ DVDs and illegal downloading of film continued growing at current levels.

Liz Bales, Director General of the Industry Trust, highlighted the progress made in tackling the problem but said that there was still a job to be done:

“Many elements of the British audio visual industry have experienced continued success in 2008 with both DVD sales and cinema admissions up, but copyright theft still remains the single biggest threat to the future growth and potential of the industry. One in three people were involved in a form of copyright theft last year.”

Bales also provided a snapshot of some of the most significant achievements of the new communications strategy adopted by the Trust in 2007 – a behavioural change campaign to change consumer attitudes and attach a social stigma to the consumption of counterfeit products.

Endorsing the work of the Trust, of which the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association is a member, CEA Chief Executive Phil Clapp pledged continued support from the theatrical sector for the organisation’s work to educate consumers on the importance of copyright protection. He said:

“We are strengthening our impact as an industry with an ever growing alliance against copyright theft.  We will continue to work together to ensure consumers are receiving a consistent message about the threat film theft poses to the future of film in the UK whilst also providing a clearer path to the legal alternatives.”

Download full text of the Press Notice issued by the Industry Trust following the AGM.