Operation ZoomOut cuts number of DVDs

The average number of illegally camcorded movies coming out of Asia dropped sharply during the Motion Picture Assn.’s 10-week Operation ZoomOut, which launched Nov. 24, to crack down on the practice.

The MPA said authorities carried out nearly 450 raids in 12 countries.

In that time, the average number of illegally camcorded movies coming out of the region per week dropped from 2.4 to 1.4.

Some 370 suspected pirates were arrested, and more than 4 million pirated optical discs and 767 optical disc burners were seized.

In China, 74 retail outlets were shut down, while in Hong Kong, more than 2 million pirated discs were seized. In the Philippines, 1.3 million discs were seized, while in Taiwan 166 raids led to the arrest of 135 people. Thailand saw 102 raids with 100 arrests and 500 burners seized.

“All these measures have served to deter criminals from engaging in illegal camcording,” said Mike Ellis, MPA prexy and managing director, Asia-Pacific.

The MPA also ran a follow-up training program for cinema staff and enforcement officers.

The campaign involved deterrents including deploying enforcement officers to patrol cinemas, the use of night-vision goggles to detect anyone using a recording device, establishing anti-camcording reward schemes that seek the assistance of moviegoers as well as displaying posters in cinemas highlighting that camcording is a criminal offense.

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