DVD-R burner lab busted in Hong Kong


MUMBAI: On 15 November, 25 officers from the Hong Kong Customs Special Task Force raided a criminal syndicate producing pirated movies on optical discs, which were being sold by street hawkers in the busy Mong Kok district of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. The bust is the largest known burner operation in Hong Kong this year, with 105 DVD-R burners seized.


In addition three men and a woman aged between 16 and 34 years old were arrested and nearly 5,000 pirated discs seized, including 1,200 DVD-Rs infringing 20 MPA member company titles. The seizures included I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Invasion, Lust, Caution and i.


Hong Kong Customs estimated that the seizure of the pirated discs and equipment created a revenue loss of HK$200,000 (US$25,641) to the pirates however the seized DVD-R burners could have produced over five million pirated optical discs in one year, potentially generating revenues in excess of US$14 million.


“A total of 202 DVD-R burners have been seized within a month by Hong Kong Customs and they are to be commended for their vigilance and swift action. However, in supplying stolen copies of movies still in theatrical release, these illegal burner labs are seriously damaging the interests of the movie producers, the theatre owners and, by diverting legitimate dollars into the pockets of criminal syndicates, they are ultimately hurting everyone in Hong Kong,” said IFACT-GC executive director and general manager Sam Ho.


“This is a tremendous effort and result. The Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department have just raised the cost of doing business for these criminals. The Motion Picture Association and our member companies greatly appreciate the continued efforts of the Hong Kong government and the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department to fight copyright theft and protect intellectual property rights,” said Motion Picture Association senior vice president and regional director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.


Maximum penalties for copyright infringement are a fine of HK$50,000 and four years imprisonment per offence.