Police officers in Mumbai, India, seized 42 DVD-R burners June 29 in what is being touted as the country's largest pirate burner seizure, the Motion Picture Assn. announced July 5.

NEW YORK -- Police officers in Mumbai, India, seized 42 DVD-R burners June 29 in what is being touted as the country's largest pirate burner seizure, the Motion Picture Assn. announced July 5.

Based on information gathered by the MPA through its program that rewards the public for providing tips on piracy, police raided a DVD-R burner lab in Saat Rasta, Mumbai, catching two men in the act of movie piracy. In addition to the burners, police seized 1,123 DVD-Rs.

The burners, if operated 10 hours per day, were capable of producing 3.6 million DVD-Rs in one year which could yield revenues of $4.22 million, the MPA said.

The MPA's DVDR/CDR Reward Scheme gives cash rewards to people who provide information that leads to a successful raid on pirate production facilities. Tips received through the program in India last year led to the seizure of 275 burners. During the first five months of this year, tips led to 16 arrests and the seizure of 281 burners.

Mike Ellis, MPA senior VP Asia-Pacific, said the seizure "confirms the shift by pirates to 'burn-on-demand' technology that requires little capital investment and is difficult to detect."

The MPA said it sharply increased its investigations in Asia-Pacific in response to the reduced cost of entry into the motion picture piracy business using CD-R and DVD-R burners and the increased influence of organized criminal gangs with global manufacturing and distribution networks. It conducted over 25,500 investigations in 2004, a 65% increase over 2003. These investigations resulted in nearly 12,000 raids and over 8,000 criminal legal actions.

The MPA estimates that its member companies lose in excess of $896 million in potential revenue annually from piracy in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2004, the MPA operations in the region investigated more than 25,500 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 12,000 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of approximately 49 million illegal optical discs and the initiation of more than 8,000 legal actions.

The MPA represents major motion picture companies globally. It directs its worldwide anti-piracy operations from its Encino, Calif. headquarters.