105 Burners seized in Taiwan

MUMBAI: On 4 February, acting on information provided by a citizen, TFACT (Taiwan Foundation Against Copyright Theft, representing MPA at Taiwan), and the IPR Police jointly raided a DVD-R burner lab in Taoyuan County, arresting four men, aging from 14-37, seizing 105 DVD-R burners, making it the largest seizure since 2007.

Along with the burners, police seized over 5,700 pirated discs, which infringed 180 MPA member companies’ titles, including National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, American Gangster, I Am Legend and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The DVD-R lab is operated by a family that provides pirated discs to night markets in the Taoyuan and Hsinchu areas. It is estimated that the burners seized could have produced over 5.6 million pirated discs per year, generating potential revenue of over US$17 million.

"The seizure is particularly significant as it occurred two days before Chinese Lunar New Year," said Motion Picture Association senior vice president and regional director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis. "It is traditionally the hottest season for DVD sales and rent, and is certainly a big temptation to pirates."

"The raid by IPR Police sends a strong message to copyright pirates that the war against piracy takes no holiday and we remain fully committed to supporting the Taiwan law enforcement agencies in their anti-piracy efforts."

In Taiwan, it is frequently the case that pirated movies are individually burned onto optical discs using CD-R or DVD-R burners. Burner labs can contain dozens of burners, capable of producing millions of pirate CD-Rs or DVD-Rs per year. In 2005 and 2006, more than 2,427 optical disc burners were seized in TFACT/MPA operations in Taiwan.