French police raid pirate Bollywood store
London, 18 February 2008
French police have raided a store in Paris that sold large amounts of counterfeit Bollywood music and films. The Thamilan Music Centre was located in a primarily Tamil neighbourhood of the city. One man was arrested during the raid and held in police custody.
Officers from the Police National Judiciaire raided the store on 13th February following a formal complaint from IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide. They seized an estimated 3,000 pirate CDs and more than 200,000 counterfeit DVDs manufactured in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
Many of the CDs and DVDs seized contained Bollywood repertoire whose rights are owned by members of BPI, which represents the recording industry in the UK. Officials from IFPI and BPI were present during the raid and assisted with identifying the counterfeit product.
Len Hynds, Head of Enforcement at IFPI, says: “This raid was a great example of cooperation between the French police and rightsholders. We congratulate the Police National Judiciaire on taking firm action against a store that was flagrantly breaking the law by openly selling counterfeit products in the heart of Paris.
“Some criminals have the mistaken belief that if they smuggle and sell counterfeit CDs they will escape the attentions of the authorities who are only concerned with drug trafficking. In fact the authorities are very aware that the pirate music trade defrauds the public, evades taxes, costs jobs and denies artists an income from their work. That is why it is so important that police and rightsholders work together to combat it.”
David Wood, Director of BPI’s Anti-Piracy Unit, adds: “Bollywood piracy is a growing problem throughout Europe. It is one that anti-piracy officers from the UK have a good track record of dealing with and we are sharing this expertise with law enforcement agencies across the continent. This has led to successful raids on organised criminal gangs in countries such as France and the Netherlands.”
Avtar Panesar, Vice President of International Operations at Yash Raj Films International Ltd, one of the companies whose movies were being counterfeited, says: “This is a great result in Paris and a classic case of cooperation and coordination between the firms hit by piracy, the authorities and industry anti-piracy experts. We thank all concerned for their tireless work against these organised criminals whose activities hit all film and record producers.”
Dilip Chudasma from Eros International Ltd, another company whose films were being counterfeited, adds: “This was excellent work from the French police as well as BPI and IFPI. We are glad the French authorities take such damaging organised criminal activity seriously and will assist them in their enquiries in any way we can.”For more information please contact:
Alex Jacob or Adrian Strain, IFPI Communications
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 48 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 The British Phonographic Industry) represents the UK recorded music industry.
Its membership comprises of over 400 music companies including the four 'major' record companies, indie labels, manufacturers, distributors and hundreds of independent music companies representing literally thousands of labels comprising 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 UK music industry.