Thailand's anti-piracy program gets a boost...

The US government has donated a high-tech forensic data system to the Thai government that allows researchers to trace where a software or audio/video CD or DVD has originated from.

The system, which is already used by the IFPI and MPA in North America and Europe, is so sophisticated it can work out which professional disk duplicating plant the disc has been processed at, or, if appropriate, the `fingerprint' of the PC which has recorded the disc.

This information has reportedly been used by the IFPI and MPA to successfully detect copyright infringing disc production in 17 countries since 2000.

According to the US Government, a similar system already in use in Malaysia has resulted in a number of criminal prosecution case and licence revocations across the country.

Newswire reports suggest that the equipment will be operated by the Royal Thai Police's Forensic Division under the command of Police Lieutenant-General Ukrit Patchimsawat, the deputy commissioner of Police.

Thailand, in case you hadn't already guessed, is a major source of pirated software, video and audio programming.

What makes matters worse is that a lot of the pirated material ends up in normal retail channels in Europe and the US, where punters buy the product thinking it is the genuine article at a discount price...