DVD burners seized in Bangkok piracy raid

MUMBAI: Eleven persons were arrested and 140 DVD-R burners seized during an operation in the Bangkok suburb of Nondhaburi conducted by the Royal Thai Police (Economic and Technological Crime Suppression Division).

The operation, carried out on 25 April 2007, in association with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) representatives, raided an optical disc manufacturing facility and two distribution warehouses on a tip off, says a release.

The seized burners are estimated to have been capable of producing as many as 7.5 million pirated DVD-Rs in one year, yielding revenues of US $18 million, assuming the burners were in operation ten-hours-a-day, seven-days-per-week. Police also seized 213,000 pirated movie DVD-Rs and more than one million pieces of DVD artwork. The arrested suspects, seven men and four women, have been charged with violations of Thailand’s Copyright Act, the release adds.

While factory-replicated optical discs continue to account for the majority of optical discs produced by movie pirates in the Asia-Pacific region, MPA enforcement operations in 2005-2006 confirmed that a shift is underway in many countries from large-scale production in optical disc factories using machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, to burner labs that can contain dozens of low-cost burners and are often located in apartments and small retail premises. Both types of operation are capable of producing tens of millions of pirate DVD-Rs or CDRs per year, but burner labs are inexpensive and easy to set up, and if raided, easily and quickly replaceable, says the release.