Dutch court fines Bollywood pirates
Amsterdam, 10 December 2007
A Dutch court has fined a number of Rotterdam shopkeepers up to €15,000 each for selling illegal pirated Bollywood material. Three of the defendants were also given community service sentences of up to 200 hours and a three month conditional prison sentence.
The verdicts came at the end of a trial that was triggered by a raid in March 2005 which saw the seizure of more than 140,000 CDs and DVDs containing Indian music and movies from 13 shops across Rotterdam.
Most of the illegal product originated in Pakistan, a major source of illegal copies of popular Indian films and music.
The raids had involved around 100 officers from the Dutch fiscal police, supported by investigators from record industry bodies IFPI and BPI as well as Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, who assisted the authorities in identifying illegal product.
BPI, which represents the UK recording industry, had a Bollywood music and film piracy expert who supplied specialist advice and additional intelligence ahead of the raids. The rate of Bollywood music and film piracy in the UK is estimated at 70 per cent, far higher than the average national music piracy rate of 10 per cent.
Tim Kuik, Managing Director of BREIN, says: “Despite the high profile of online piracy, the sale of counterfeit Bollywood CDs and DVDs is still a major problem in the Netherlands. We are pleased with this verdict that sends a strong message to shopkeepers tempted to make a quick profit by selling illegal product.”
Paul Warren, European Anti-Piracy Co-ordinator for IFPI, adds: “The import and sale of discs containing illegal copies of music and film from India is sadly still a continuing problem across Europe. Such illegal trade directly undermines the creative industries in India that are doing so much to generate employment and growth to help that country develop.”
David Wood, Anti-Piracy Investigator at BPI, adds: “BPI was pleased to be able to assist our Dutch colleagues in this case. The UK is a major market for pirate Bollywood material and we were able to share our expertise in this area. Working together we can crack the supply chain of counterfeit music and help ensure that artists, composers and record producers are not ripped off by these organised gangs.”
The 140,000 counterfeit discs seized in the raid will now be destroyed on the order of the court.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The BREIN foundation is the joint anti-piracy program of authors, artists and producers of music, film and interactive software; a unique bundling of forces of the entire entertainment industry in the fight against Intellectual Property theft. BREIN is the central contact for government, law enforcement, trade and media in the Netherlands with respect to all issues concerning the unauthorised copying and distribution of entertainment products both offline and online. BREIN is the Dutch acronym for "Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands" and also the Dutch word for "brain".
IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,400 major and independent companies in more than 75 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 49 countries. IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.
The BPI (formerly known as British Phonographic Industry) represents the British recorded music industry. Its membership comprises of over four hundred music companies including the four 'major' record companies, associate members such as manufacturers and distributors and hundreds of independent music companies representing literally thousands of labels that comprise over 90% of the UK's recorded music market. A major area of the BPI's work is tackling music piracy, and the BPI combats commercial music piracy on behalf of the wider British music industry.
Press release concerning original raids: www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20050315.htmlFor further information contact:
Adrian Strain or Alex Jacob, IFPI London