MPAA raid nets 19,000 pirated vids, 6 arrests

The largest anti-piracy action in the history of the Motion Picture Assn. of America has seen the seizure of more than 19,000 pirated videocassettes and the arrest of six individuals.

Acting on a tip from a Fremont video retailer, local law enforcement officials and the MPAA anti-piracy unit participated in a two-year investigation that culminated last week in the arrests and seizures.

A series of raids were conducted June 9-11 in Northern and Southern California, resulting in the six suspects being arrested for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute the vidcassettes.

Bail was set at $ 200,000 for each.

The suspects allegedly reproduced video copies for distribution throughout Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area. Thirty-nine stores were identified as receiving and renting the pirated videocassettes.

Jack Valenti, president/CEO of the MPAA, said the action was “the largest anti-piracy action in which the MPAA has ever participated and we are pleased to provide our technical expertise to assist the Fremont police department.”

Valenti said video piracy costs the motion picture industry some $ 200 million in lost business domestically, with losses at more than $ 2 billion worldwide.