Seven men arrested.

Malaysian officers raided a licensed optical disc production factory suspected of manufacturing pirated VCDs and DVDs in Kuala Lumpur on Friday (Aug. 4). They arrested seven men and impounded two DVD and one VCD factory production lines. Representatives of the Motion Picture Assn. accompanied the officers.

Records seized in the raid showed the operation had manufactured 90 million pirated optical discs since 2000, generating illegal profits of $118 million, the MPA reported. To date this year, Malaysian law enforcement officials have seized 21 DVD and VCD production lines in eight factory raids.

In addition to the seized replication equipment, the Kuala Lumpur raid netted an offset printer, three silk screen printers, 15 stampers and more than 10,000 pirated VCDs and DVDs, all of which were infringing MPA member company movie titles, the association reported.

All of the seized discs had either erased source identification (SID) codes or no SID codes at all. The Malaysian authorities intend to charge the company and the arrested workers with violations of that country's Optical Disc Act, which makes it illegal to obliterate SID codes on optical discs and manufacturing discs without SID codes.

“The Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs continues to apply tremendous pressure to Malaysia’s optical disc pirates, and the seizures that have resulted are sending a powerful message to the criminals who damage Malaysia’s creative industries and investment climate,” said Mike Ellis, MPA senior VP/regional director, Asia-Pacific. “The MDTCA is showing tremendous leadership in addressing Malaysia’s piracy problems at source, and we are committed to fully supporting them in their operations.”

The MPA reported that a recent comprehensive study aimed at producing a more accurate picture of the impact that piracy has on the film industry included, for the first time, losses due to Internet piracy. The study calculated that the MPA studios lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005, $1.3 billion of which came from piracy in the United States and $1.2 billion in the Asia-Pacific region.

Of the $6.1 billion loss, about $2.4 billion was lost to bootlegging (obtaining movies by either purchasing an illegally copied recording or acquiring hard copies of bootleg movies); $1.4 billion to illegal copying (making illegal copies for one's self or receiving illegal copies from friends of a legitimate recording); and $2.3 billion to Internet piracy (obtaining movies by either downloading them from the Internet without paying or acquiring hard copies of illegally downloaded movies from friends or family).

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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