German Police Raid Europe’s Biggest Counterfeit Pressing Plant

German police have discovered one of the largest illegal pressing plants in Europe for CDs, DVDs and vinyl records.

Following a two-year investigation, several properties in Aschaffenburg and in the federal state of Hessen were raided, with officials seizing a significant number CDs, DVDs and vinyl records. The evaluation of the material is still ongoing.

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The state prosecutor of Bavarian Würzburg’s economic crime department is leading a preliminary investigation against an accused person suspected of the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted audio and video material on a large-scale basis.

The raid comes at a time when Germans are buying more CDs than other Europeans. Last year, CD purchases accounted for two-thirds of Germany's total music sales, which overall amounted to EUR 1.45 billion and registered a gain of 1.2 percent in 2013 after 15 years of decline, according to the Federal Association of Music Industry (BVMI) in Berlin.

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"With a market share of about 70 percent, there is still a high demand for CDs in Germany,” Bundesverband Musikindustrie (German Federal Music Industry Association) CEO Dr. Florian Drücke says. “The equipment found here demonstrates once again that this is not the work of petty criminals, but of professional organizations whose criminal activities inflict massive damage on artists and the recording industry."

The preliminary investigations were conducted on behalf of the German Federal Music Industry Association by the intellectual property protection association proMedia, and were coordinated at the international level with IFPI in London.