MPA busts Malaysian piracy operations

MUMBAI: Earlier this month, the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) officers, accompanied by Motion Picture Association (MPA) representatives, raided a clandestine printing factory in Sepang, Selangor, arresting three men and seizing three printing machines, 40 silk screens, 208 printing plates and 102,000 blank DVD-Rs and CD-Rs.

Although the seized discs were blank, they had been pre-printed with the artwork of numerous movie and pornographic titles, and were shrink-wrapped and apparently ready for delivery. Documentation seized suggested that the factory was linked to a known piracy syndicate and that the printed discs had been preordered – presumably by burner lab operations.

Throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the world, pirated movies are increasingly being individually burned onto optical discs with DVD-R or CD-R burners. Largescale burner labs, which allow pirates to individually burn movies onto optical discs, are capable of producing millions of pirate CD-Rs or DVD-Rs per year.

“Low-cost, scalable optical disc burner labs are a leading source of piracy and are extremely difficult to detect. This raid in Sepang has revealed a new level of sophistication in pirated optical disc production, which is frequently linked to other activities of organized criminal gangs. The Motion Picture Association and our member companies greatly appreciate the efforts of the Malaysian government and Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in fighting copyright theft and protecting intellectual property rights,” said Motion Picture Association Asia-Pacific senior vice president and regional director Mike Ellis.

Piracy in Asia
A comprehensive study aimed at producing a more accurate picture of the impact that piracy has on the film industry including, for the first time, losses due to internet piracy, recently calculated that the MPA studios lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005. About $2.4 billion was lost to bootlegging, $1.4 billion to illegal copying and $2.3 billion to Internet piracy.

Of the $6.1 billion in lost revenue to the studios, approximate $1.2 billion came from piracy across the Asia-Pacific region, while piracy in the US accounted for $1.3 billion. In 2005, the MPA’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 34,000 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting more than 10,500 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of more than 34 million illegal optical discs, 55 factory optical disc production lines and 3,362 optical disc burners, as well as the initiation of more than 8,000 legal actions.

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