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Dutch Raids Uncover Bollywood Piracy In Europe
1 March 2005
Over 140,000 CDs and DVDs containing Indian music and movies have been seized in simultaneous raids on 13 different shop premises in Rotterdam , The Netherlands .

Most of the product seized in the raids is believed to have originated in Pakistan – one of the major sources of illegal copies of popular Indian films and music.

The raids involved around 100 officers from the Dutch fiscal police. They were supported by investigators from IFPI, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), who assisted the authorities in identifying illegal product along with Yash Raj Films, Eros & Tip Top Video.

It is suspected the discs were smuggled into The Netherlands via airline hand luggage. At one of the shops over 15 empty small suitcases were found – one full of product waiting to be unpacked.

Pakistan is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of pirate discs in the world, exporting tens of millions of pirate CDS and DVDS annually. Exports are estimated at over 13 million discs every month – a quantity exceeding the demand of many developed music markets.

Bollywood piracy in the UK has been estimated by some sources to be as high as 70%, and this result comes less than a fortnight after the UK courts handed a three year jail sentence to one of the UK ’s most notorious Bollywood music and film pirates – Jay Buhecha. The BPI launched an investigation into his role in a Bollywood piracy scam that earned an estimated £26,000 a month at its peak.

Iain Grant, IFPI Head of Enforcement said: “This is an important seizure, highlighting the growing problem of pirate disc exports from Pakistan . That country is now one of the world’s major sources of pirate CDs and DVDs. Disc production is practically unregulated and this is having a serious effect on Indian repertoire and rightsholders. Very little is being done in Pakistan to tackle the problem – urgent action is needed from the government to regulate disc manufacture and introduce proper enforcement against this illegal trade.”

Dave Martin, Director of Anti-Piracy, BPI said: “Our work with UK customs and other border officials has helped to stem the tide of pirate Indian titles which traditionally came into the UK and were then distributed into other European countries. As a result of sustained action against this trade we believe the pirates are switching to other entry points in Europe .”

For further information please contact: Fiona Harley at IFPI on Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7900 or Matt Phillips at the BPI on tel: +44 (0)20 7803 1326

Notes:

IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with over 1,450 members in more than 75 countries and affiliated industry associations in 48 countries.

Pakistan is one of IFPI’s top ten priority countries, named in its Commercial Piracy Report 2004

Pakistan has been identified as a major source of infringing product harming markets in the Middle East , Europe , Africa and the USA . Pirate discs from Pakistan have been found in 46 countries worldwide.

Although the piracy rate in the UK is less than 5%, industry estimates put the rate of piracy in the UK ’s Asian music market as at least 40% .

Pakistan was named a Priority Foreign Country, in the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)’s submission to the U.S. Trade Representative. The 2005 report says that due to the Pakistani government’s fundamental failure to address optical disc piracy, Pakistan remains one of the world’s worst overproducers and exporters of pirate optical media. The ten known facilities in Pakistan produced upwards of 230 million discs in 2004 (up 30% from the 180 million discs produced in 2003). An estimated 205 million of those discs were exported.


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