Video piracy threatening the future of cinemas and legitimate video libraries.

How much illegal copying of videotapes is taking place and what is being done to prevent it?

Many films that have never been officially released on video, are now available on the black market. This is having an adverse effect on the legitimate video libraries and cinema goers. 

The cinema and video industries have been so badly hit by video piracy that they are now fighting back and taking direct action. 

Video club owners, cinema managers and members of the Society of Film Distributors describe the problems facing the industry.

Bob Graham, owner of Empire Video Library, explains how some of the pirates are renting copies of films from him and copying them. The copies cost the pirates around £8 when legitimate video libraries pay around £60 for the original. 

Maurice White runs a video club and a legitimate mobile video library. His challenge is to compete with the pirates who can easily undercut his prices. While he believes that the Gardaí should take action against the pirates they do not have the power.

Nicky Graham of the 24 Hour Club in Finglas is also struggling to compete with several pirates operating in the area. 

The pirates are difficult to pin down.

This episode of 'Public Account' was broadcast on 31 January 1984. The reporter is Gary Agnew.