CRIMSON PIRATES

The Motion Picture Assn. of America makes a lotta noise about all the coin the film industry loses each year due to piracy--$200-300 million here, about a billion worldwide. So we got to wondering which movies were the hottest of the hot.

Generally, the same movies that were blockbusters the first time around in theaters, say execs at the MPAA. They ran a computer scan of recent seizures in the video racket to come up with a current, unofficial Top 10: "Karate Kid II," "Cobra," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Police Academy III: Back in Training," "Jewel of the Nile," "Spies Like Us," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Cocoon," "Witness" and "Commando."

These titles have shown up most frequently in raids this year in the U.S. and Canada this year, said Mark A. Harrad, spokesman for the MPPA's anti-piracy division.

Internationally, "the Middle East is a problem, so is the Far East, but the country that stands out on its own is Japan," where an estimated 40% of the videos sold are pirated and about 40,000 illegal videos have been seized so far this year, according to Harrad.

On the home front, 44 U.S. criminal convictions were obtained last year for film and video pirates, with an additional 58 successful civil lawsuits.

Added Harrad: "We estimate that of the videos sold and rented through depots (stores), between 5 and 10% are possibly pirated."

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