There were twice as many video pirate cases in 1993 than the year before, and criminal seizures of bootlegged videos were up 50% during the same period, according to statistics released by the anti-piracy office of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

More than $ 18 million in pirated vidcassettes were seized in 1993, resulting in 702 civil and criminal seizures, compared to 404 such seizures in 1992.

As a result of these cases, 217 persons were charged with criminal violations , down from 222, indicating, according to the MPAA, that video pirate operations are getting larger and more sophisticated.

“We have served notice on those who seek to profit by the theft of the intellectual property of those who serve our industry so well,” said MPAA prexy Jack Valenti.

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