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MPAA Reports Bust of First Illegal DVD Duplicating Operation in the U.S.

25 Mar, 2002 By: Holly J. Wagner

Even the digital pirates were getting into position for the Academy Awards – until the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the New York Police Department stepped in to shut down an illegal DVD-burning lab that was turning out bogus copies of Training Day, Ali and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

"Pirates seek to profit off the enormous popularity of DVDs by using the latest in technology to illegally manufacture DVD copies of Hollywood films and again dupe consumers into purchasing a wholly inferior product," said MPAA president Jack Valenti. "We are grateful to the NYPD for their outstanding police work."

Authorities busted the operation, running out of a Bronx apartment, Friday in what MPAA called he first domestic bust an illegal DVD replicating operation.

The New York raid caught a relatively small fish in its net. Police told News.com they confiscated two computer towers, 15 DVD burners, 1,208 copies of pirate DVDs and about $5,200 in cash. Only one person was arrested.

Such raids and closures for videocassettes and illegally distributed CDs, have become common, but this was the first such raid on a DVD-production operation in the United States, MPAA said.

Movie industry complaints about piracy have increased as Internet mechanisms to exchange digial files have become more accessible, contending the industry loses millions a year to pirated copies of movies.

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