Sony Pictures Entertainment and its studio counterparts are trying to turn pirates into paying customers.

They’re looking to a technology called Cinavia Level 3, which was unveiled last week.

It uses a code embedded in the soundtrack that prompts Blu-ray devices to block viewing of pirated content. A new feature redirects the viewer to legal outlets where they can pay to watch the movie, either in theaters or on home entertainment systems.

Mitch Singer, chief technology officer at Sony Pictures, said his research has shown that some pirates will pay for content.

“We know there is a substitution rate,” Singer said. “We need to focus on an environment where the lazy pirate will get frustrated and go to the movie theater.”

Sony already encodes Cinavia technology in the soundtrack of its theatrical releases. About 100 million Blu-ray devices, such as the PlayStation 3, are capable of detecting the code and blocking playback.

What’s new is the capability to reroute viewers to online retailers or movie listing websites.

Cinavia’s parent company, Verance Corp. of San Diego, is working to get the likes of Inc. and Apple Inc.’s iTunes store on board with the initiative.

Studios have also backed Ultraviolet, a digital Web locker that allows for viewing movies across devices, to combat piracy of movies that have already been released to physical discs.

Studio trade organization the Motion Picture Association of America has also been involved in lobbying efforts to pass legislation that would regulate content on the Web. The MPAA claims piracy is responsible for about $6.1 billion of lost revenue yearly for studios.

The association announced last week that it launched a website,, that helps consumers find legal ways to view content across the digital universe.

Slim Sit-Down

Los Angeles magazine is putting more emphasis on its website with help from one of the world’s richest men.

The magazine is launching a video series on its site called “Big Shots With Giselle Fernandez,” hosted by Fernandez, a former KTLA (Channel 5) anchor.

The first episode features Carlos Slim in a sit-down interview filmed while he was in town for last month’s Milken Institute Global Conference. At the time, Slim was the world’s richest man, but has since been eclipsed by Bill Gates.

When asked how the magazine scored the interview coup, Shayna Rose Arnold, online content manager at the magazine, said it was as simple as just asking.

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