The New York Police Department seized nearly 150,000 discs within a ten-day period, arresting 12 individuals and reinforcing the U.S. entertainment industry's "zero tolerance" of theft.
NEW YORK -- The New York Police Department seized nearly 150,000 discs within a ten-day period, arresting 12 individuals and reinforcing the U.S. entertainment industry's "zero tolerance" of theft.
On May 20, the NYPD executed search warrants at an upper Manhattan storage facility, seizing more than 25,000 counterfeit CD-Rs and 35,000 counterfeit DVDs, the Recording Industry Assn. of America announced. Nine individuals were arrested and charged with trademark counterfeiting and failure to disclose the origin of a recording. Their names were not disclosed.
The RIAA assisted the NYPD in the investigation of a group of illegal music distributors that had been operating from inside the facility located at 9-11 West 141st Street.
"Once again, the NYPD has demonstrated a solid commitment to eradicating the tremendous piracy problem that continues to plague our streets," said Brad Buckles, RIAA executive VP for anti-piracy. "The only way to beat this problem is to attack it persistently with a strong, united front. The success of [the] operation should send a clear message to all those engaged in the illegal music trade: piracy is theft and will be treated with zero tolerance."
On May 11, the NYPD also raided a basement in lower Manhattan, seizing nearly 49,000 DVDs and 38,000 CDs. One Ohio and two New York area residents were arrested, the Motion Picture Assn. of America announced.
"We are rooting out these DVD thieves one by one and tracking their networks in order to shut down illegal DVD and CD pirate operations," said James W. Spertus, VP and director of the MPAA's U.S. anti-piracy operations. "The New York Police Department has been instrumental and vigilant in pursuit of these thieves, and we appreciate their continued effort. These arrests will send a signal that such crimes will not be tolerated in the New York area."
Aboulaye Diallo, 39, Mamadow Sow, 36, and Schilles Jean, 33, were charged with violating New York's True Name and Address statute, which makes the failure to disclose the origin of a recording or audiovisual work unlawful.
During the investigation by MPAA investigators and local police, the NYPD's 1st Precinct Peddler Unit contacted the Legal Bureau to request a nuisance abatement order for 68 White Street. This is a method employed by the NYPD to padlock the location and inhibit the subjects from returning at a later date.
A Smith Barney study estimated that this year alone, the movie industry has lost $5.4 billion to piracy, the MPAA said. Working with law enforcement around the world, the MPAA seized over 76 million illegal optical discs in 2004.