RIAA, MPAA join Atlanta officials to destroy seized property

MUMBAI: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) joined Atlanta public officials to destroy more than one million counterfeit CDs and DVDs seized as a result of enforcement efforts throughout the metro region, marking the largest destruction of seized property in recent US history.

The event took place at the Atlanta Police Department Headquarters’ property section where the evidence was placed in large pallets and "shredded" before being sent to recycling facilities.

Participants included a representative from the Atlanta police department; Fulton County Sheriff Myron Freemon; Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr; Brad Buckles, Executive Vice President, Anti-Piracy, RIAA; and Kevin Suh, Deputy Director, U.S. Anti-Piracy Operations, MPAA.

"Individuals selling CDs for cheap on the street corner are not just small-time peddlers – they are fronts for larger criminal organizations that steal music by the millions of CDs. These groups are also often involved in other illegal activity such as narcotics and weapons trade and benefit from the high profits and low risk of piracy crimes," said Buckles.

"That’s why we hold our relationships with law enforcement to the highest degree of importance – these criminals threaten the health and safety of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, as well as neighborhoods across the country where this illegal activity is present," he added.

The illicit product – estimated to be worth more than $20 million – was captured during various law enforcement raids on premises suspected of being used by illegal pirate operations to sell counterfeit music and movies. The destruction of evidence is in accordance with US copyright law.

"We want to encourage consumers to purchase DVDs from legitimate retailers and from legal download sites to ensure they are buying genuine high quality copies of the movies they love and to help protect one of America’s greatest exports," said MPAA deputy director of US anti-piracy operations Kevin Suh.

"We commend the Atlanta Police Department, and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s office for their diligence and effort to curb piracy in Atlanta."