A study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. estimates that pirated goods resulted in the loss of about 106,000 direct and indirect jobs in the county in 2005. It also estimated that it deprived state and local governments of more than $400 million in tax revenue that year. The panel will seek to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing piracy, including penalties and how to allocate more money for police and prosecutors. “We also think that we need to develop an educational campaign for judges so that when we do convict these people they are given more than a slap on the wrist,” Greuel said. Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes “Santee Alley,” where pirated goods are often openly sold, said it is more than a minor problem. Perry said a recent shooting near an elementary school in her district was sparked by a turf battle among counterfeiters. “And this is also the gateway to crime,” Perry said. “These pirates often use young people to serve as their mules to sell the CDs and DVDs because they know they will get lighter sentences.” Villaraigosa said the issue is so important that he discussed it with Chinese officials during his recent trip to Asia. “When I was in China, I had high-level discussions on the impact of piracy in Los Angeles,” he said. “This is the epicenter of the entertainment industry and when you look at the numbers we’re talking about, it has to be an effort on the state and federal level, as well.” email@example.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Saying pirated goods cost Los Angeles County firms $5.3 billion a year, Los Angeles city and county officials announced on Friday the creation of a task force to develop strategies to stem the counterfeit trade. “Los Angeles is the creative capital of the nation,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference in the Staples Center plaza where tables of pirated products – watches, wallets, designer jeans, CDs and DVDs – were on display. “Every dollar lost to piracy represents a dollar lost to the hard-working families that make Los Angeles the envy of the world.” The task force will be chaired by City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and will include city and county officials as well as industry representatives.