Largest ever seizure of CD burners in Latin America
420 Burners, 60,000 recorded CD-R and 40,000 blank CD-Rs seized in Mexico
November 5, 2003
Mexican law enforcement authorities dismantled a major CD-R counterfeiting operation when they effected the largest ever seizure of CD burners in the entire Latin American region. The single action netted equipment with the capacity to produce 58 million CDs a year, more than the entire annual sales of legitimate music CDs in Mexico.
Officers from the Federal Investigation Agency and industry anti-piracy (APDIF) personnel dealt a significant blow to Mexican pirates in the notorious Tepito neighbourhood, when a raid on three replication laboratories resulted in the seizure of 420 CD-R burners. Two people were detained.
Over 60,000 recorded CD-Rs and 40,000 blank CD-Rs were also discovered alongside 40,000 jewel boxes and 500,000 inlay cards. The recorded CD-Rs carried repertoire by a wide range of mainly Mexican artists.
This is not the first such successful operation in Tepito, known as a haven for illegal activity. Two raids held in August of this year led to violent clashes between law enforcement and criminal gangs operating in the area. At that time, 172 burners and 235,500 recorded CDs were seized in addition to Class A drugs and weaponry. It also resulted in the arrest of 39 people.
Mexico has been badly hit in recent years, with a piracy rate in 2002 of 68% up from 60% in 2001, and was identified by IFPI as one of the ten markets in the world most affected by piracy.
Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI said: "We applaud the anti-piracy clampdown that is taking place in areas such as Tepito. It is only through this kind of operation, undertaken by the local police authorities in cooperation with the industry's anti-piracy team, that piracy's devastating stranglehold on the Mexican market can be eroded. This is absolutely crucial; pirate activity in Mexico has caused major releases to fall by 30% in the last year and job losses for one third of people working in the music industry. This is costing the government thousands of dollars in lost taxes and stifling the development of local repertoire."
Fernando Hernandez, Head of the Mexican music industry association Amprofon, said: "The Mexican industry is encouraged by these types of raids, which represent a significant blow to pirate activity in the country. However, we still face the challenge of tackling more than 50 thousand sale points around Mexico offering pirate product. We hope that our authorities will soon address this issue and allow the local music industry to thrive again."
Notes to Editors
For further information contact Raul Vazquez at the IFPI Regional Office for Latin America on tel: +1 (305) 567 0861 or Julie Harari at IFPI on tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7900
IFPI represents the recording industry internationally with over 1,500 member companies in 76 countries.
For a copy of IFPI's Commercial Piracy Report 2003 go to www.ifpi.org for a pdf or call 020 7878 7900.