International bootlegging ring smashed in Europe
Joint action by police officers in the UK and Austria has broken up a large-scale organised, international music bootlegging operation involved in the global distribution of illegal sound recordings.
Simultaneous raids were carried out yesterday on addresses in Austria and the UK following investigation by national recording industry groups the BPI in the UK and IFPI Austria, coordinated by the anti-piracy team at IFPI, the international recording industry body.
In total over 225,000 bootlegged discs by top name international artists including Rolling Stones, Beatles, Eminem, U2, Oasis, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Nickelback and Sheryl Crow were seized.
In Austria, approximately 200,000 illegal CDs were seized at a warehouse in the north of Vienna. The retail value of these CDs is estimated at around 3.6 million Euros. Criminal cases against the Austrian suspects will follow.
Manfred Lappe, President of IFPI Austria and Chairman of the Eastern Europe Committee of IFPI said: "Piracy does not recognise any borders. These coordinated raids in Austria and the UK are a perfect example of how the national groups, together with the international enforcement department of IFPI can successfully fight trans-border piracy."
In the UK, around 25,000 bootlegged CDs were found at an address in West London and one man was arrested, later released on bail pending further enquiries.
David Martin, Director of Anti-Piracy at the BPI said: "Investigation by the BPI, IFPI and Austrian national group has successfully smashed an international, organised bootlegging ring. We are grateful to the assistance of all the police forces involved in the operation."
Iain Grant, IFPI's Director of Enforcement added: "Music piracy is a serious, organised criminal business. The international recording industry commends the police authorities in the UK and Austria for this exemplary action. It has proved the critical need for international coordination in fighting this growing, cross-border problem."
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