A federal grand jury in California indicted three individuals Oct. 12 in connection with the largest pirated CD manufacturing raid in U.S. history.
NEW YORK -- A federal grand jury in California indicted three individuals Oct. 12 in connection with the largest pirated CD manufacturing raid in U.S. history.
Ye Teng Wen and Hao He of Union City, Calif., and Yaobin Zhai of Fremont, Calif., were indicted for their involvement in a scheme to pirate more than 325,000 copies of copyrighted CDs and software. They were charged with criminal copyright infringement; trafficking in counterfeit labels; conspiracy; and aiding and abetting.
The three were arrested Oct. 6 during simultaneous raids at 13 locations in California and Texas as part of Operation Remaster and Operation Buccaneer. More than 500,000 CDs and over one million CD inserts were seized, along with thousands of DVDs and 3,300 stampers -- the metal discs used to press multiple copies. About 85% of the counterfeit CDs were recordings of Latin music.
"These individuals are charged with affixing counterfeit labels on CDs to create the appearance of legitimacy, including the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning that stated, 'Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law,'" U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said. "We will continue in our work to protect intellectual property rights and prosecute those who pirate music, software and movies for their own enrichment."
The operations were the result of joint efforts by the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (a task force administered by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Sacramento Valley High Tech Task Force, the U.S. Secret Service, the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
"As a result of close cooperation at all levels, law enforcement agencies have successfully toppled a highly sophisticated pirate network capable of generating millions of dollars in illegal proceeds - a network all too typical of today's music piracy trade," said RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Bainwol.
"These indictments represent a significant disabling of a huge illegal replicating network. We salute the authorities for their work on this operation," said MPAA Chairman/CEO Dan Glickman.