LONDON — A series of raids in the Netherlands has netted more than 140,000 pirated Bollywood CDs and DVDs.
The illicit consignment of popular Indian music and films was seized March 3-4 during raids in Rotterdam. About 100 officers from the Dutch fiscal police were deployed to the operation, which hit 13 trading premises. Investigators from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Dutch anti-piracy group Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland (BREIN) and the British Phonographic Industry lent assistance.
Most of the illegal product is understood to have originated from Pakistan, which is rapidly becoming one of the world’s leading sources of illicit CDs and DVDs, according to the IFPI.
“Very little is being done in Pakistan to tackle the problem,” says IFPI head of enforcement Iain Grant. “Urgent action is needed from the government to regulate disc manufacturing and introduce proper enforcement against this illegal trade.”
The International Intellectual Property Alliance named Pakistan as a Priority Foreign Country in its 2005 submission to the U.S. Trade Representative. In its report, the IIPA acknowledged that Pakistan’s 10 known facilities produced at least 230 million discs in 2004, up 30% from the year before. About 90% of those discs are believed to have been exported. The IFPI says pirate discs from Pakistan have been found in 46 countries.
The Dutch bust marks the industry’s second victory on Bollywood piracy in the past month. On Feb. 22, a British court sentenced one of the country’s top Bollywood music and film pirates to three years in jail.