Pirates Of Los Angeles

L.A. County officials announced February 16th that the county is forming a task force to help movie studios and record labels put the squeeze on sales of pirated product.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement that the entertainment industry is the backbone of the local economy and that "every dollar lost to piracy represents wages lost."

The task force will make recommendations on how to more effectively combat piracy, and will comprise law enforcement, city and county officials and representatives of the entertainment industry.

The announcement comes the same day as the release of a study commissioned by L.A. city and county officials that showed that piracy in 2005 resulted in $3.5 billion in losses to the music and film industries, a $2 billion diversion of sales from retailers and $438 million in lost tax revenues.