Antipiracy investigators from the Motion Picture Assn. of America and detectives from the organized crime division of the New York Police Dept. teamed Wednesday to seize more than 14,000 pirated homevideos.
The bootleg vids, which included such titles as “Evita” and “The Relic,” were seized at three locations believed to be distribution centers for pirates operating along the Eastern seaboard.
Acting on a tip received by a New Jersey State Police trooper, investigators set up an undercover buy of a quantity of allegedly pirated vids.
Once the vids were determined to be unauthorized copies of such films as “Metro” and “101 Dalmatians,” raids were conducted on three New York locations at which seven suspects were arrested on charges of trademark coun-terfeiting.
“Wednesday’s raid was just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ed Pistey, veep and director of the MPAA’s antipiracy op-eration. “Our investigation will continue until we discover where the videos (were) manufactured.”
Investigators believe the vids were stored at the trio of storefronts before being distributed to street vendors in New York, New Jersey and other cities along the East Coast.
The vids, typically sold for around $10 each, are purchased by unsuspecting buyers who often find the quality objectionable, but have no recourse.