During a Senate digital-copyright hearing Walt Disney Co. has accused computer companies including Apple of profiting from piracy.

"The killer app for the computer industry is piracy. They think their short-term growth is predicated on pirated content," Disney CEO Michael Eisner told the US Senate Commerce Committee. He added that computer makers' advertising encouraged people to buy their products to burn CDs and DVDs, singling out Apple's "Rip. Mix. Burn" campaign.

Eisner went on to fire a further broadside at Apple. His comments were reported by Hollywood reporter.com.

He said: "Apple tells people they can create a theft if they buy this or that computer," adding that he felt some computer manufacturers had adopted an unspoken, "sales-through-piracy doctrine".

US Congress is currently considering legislation known as the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act. This is designed to force computer makers to install technology into equipment to prevent the duplication of copyrighted media.