You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Raid targets pirates

Cops nab 16,000 discs in Hanover

BERLIN — In a coordinated effort between German police and Scotland Yard, authorities in Hanover broke up the biggest DVD piracy operation ever in Germany earlier this month.

Police confiscated 16,000 pirated DVDs and master discs, including titles like “X-Men 2,” “Matrix Reloaded,” “Dreamcatcher” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” as well as pics that have yet to be released in Germany, with a total estimated market value of 1 million euros ($1.17 million).

The German Federation Against Copyright Theft (GVU) and its U.K. counterpart FACT aided authorities on the case. The owner of a video store where the copies were found was taken into custody during a June 11 raid. The man, a native of Singapore, is suspected of being a middleman for Hong Kong-based DVD replication houses that illegally press and ship the copies overseas. He has since been released from custody.

Also discovered were an unspecified number of master discs that could have been used by other replication studios. Police confiscated a total of nine packages containing the DVDs, all addressed to recipients in the U.K.

The pirated DVDs were headed to the U.K. for turnaround in what is thought to be a European-wide piracy operation, according to Hanover senior prosecutor Manfred Knothe.

Speaking June 18 at a joint press conference with prosecutors in Hanover, GVU chief Joachim Tielke said he expected additional positive results from the concerted efforts of German police and Scotland Yard in the war against piracy. Police in Germany and the U.K. had had the video rental store operator in their sights since confiscating past shipments of pirated DVDs from Singapore in the U.K.

While 16,000 discs is a drop in the bucket compared to the 1.2 million pirated DVDs recovered by police in the U.K. in the first quarter of 2003 alone, GVU spokeswoman Diane Gross says the DVD boom in Germany is making the country an increasingly attractive market for pirates. German DVD households numbered 1.57 million in 2001; by 2002, that number climbed 212% to 4.9 million.

Copyright and trademark law violations in Germany are punishable by fine or a prison sentence of up to three years. Greater commercial violations can draw sentences of up to five years.

More Digital

  • IMDb UnMade - Rainn Wilson, Nick

    Amazon's IMDb Launches Original Series 'UnMade' About Comedians' Rejected Hollywood Pitches

    IMDb, the Amazon-owned entertainment database, has premiered its latest original show: “UnMade,” featuring Rainn Wilson, Nick Cannon, Kristen Schaal, Reggie Watts and other comedians discussing early pet projects that were never produced, until now — sort of. In each episode, one of the guest comedians recounts a project they created and pitched back when they were [...]

  • apple music

    Verizon Bundles Apple Music With Top-Tier Unlimited Wireless Plans for No Extra Charge

    Verizon has expanded its ties to Apple — offering wireless subscribers on its two most expensive unlimited plans access to the Apple Music for no extra charge. Starting Jan. 17, Apple Music will be included in Verizon’s Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited plans, the telco announced Tuesday. For Apple, the bundling agreement promises to augment [...]

  • Infowars Alex Jones

    Roku Removes Infowars Channel Following Backlash

    Roku has taken the Infowars channel off its platform after the streaming device faced criticism for carrying the controversial program hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. “After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform,” stated the company’s tweet on [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Snap Inc

    Snap CFO Tim Stone to Leave Company

    Snapchat corporate parent Snap Inc. is facing another major executive departure: The company’s chief financial officer Tim Stone is on his way out, Snap revealed in a regulatory filing Tuesday afternoon. Stone will stay with the company to find a new candidate for his position for the time being, according to the filing. His last [...]

  • birdbox Sandra Bullock

    Will Netflix's Latest Price Hike Spur a Customer Backlash?

    Netflix is rolling out its biggest price increase to date — including hiking the standard HD plan from $10.99 to $12.99 per month — for all subscribers in the U.S. and parts of Latin America. The obvious risk: Some customers will see the higher prices as a reason to bail on Netflix, while there’s also [...]

  • Alex Jones Infowars

    Roku Faces Criticism Over Infowars Channel

    Streaming device maker Roku faced a backlash Tuesday over its decision to carry a channel for Infowars, the controversial website of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The company responded by saying that Infowars wasn’t currently violating its terms of use. The uproar over Roky carrying Infowars comes a few months after most other major platforms, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content