A national campaign to reduce rising sales of pirated Sony PlayStation titles has been mounted by the console's developer, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCEA).
PlayStation hardware and software sales totalled over $250 million in retail last year and according to industry observers a further 10 per cent is being lost to the buccaneers.
Michael Ephraim, SCEA's managing director, said the company has engaged private sector investigator Pricewaterhouse-Coopers and a leading law firm, Allen Allen and Hemsley, to help lessen the impact illegal copying is having on PlayStation software sales.
Approval for the strategy has also come from government. The Minister for Justice and Commerce, Amanda Vanstone, welcomed the initiative which she said "highlights the importance of industry working in cooperation with law enforcement agencies. Federal law enforcement agencies are committed to enforcing Commonwealth laws, but cannot do it alone," Vanstone said.
"Just as it is important that individuals report crime, it is essential that industries affected by potential illegality work closely with the relevant law enforcement agencies."
Having been awarded "almost $100,000" in damages and costs from successful piracy-based court actions recently, Ephraim said the company would be even more stringent in its pursuit of those importing counterfeit games.
"This is our highest priority," he said.
"SCEA is determined to stamp out piracy. We are dedicating the necessary resources to this strategy which is targeted at all individuals and businesses throughout Australia who are involved in the illegal sale and importation of counterfeit games.
"We are sending out a clear message that piracy will not be tolerated and those involved in piracy will be brought to justice. We will not allow pirates to continue to illegally infringe our intellectual property rights."