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German authorities capture pirates

29 servers, over 40,000 recordable CDs and DVDs seized

In one of the biggest coordinated legal assaults against film piracy, German authorities on Tuesday and Thursday raided more than 750 locations.

The so-called “release groups” targeted in the raids are alleged to have been responsible for the Internet distribution of more than 500 German-language films since 2001, including “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

Officials from the German Ministry of Justice working in conjunction with German Federation Against Copyright Theft and the Motion Picture Association seized 29 servers, more than 40,000 recordable CDs and DVDs, and more than 200 PCs. Targeted groups allegedly were engaging in tactics including operating a disc-burning lab and hacking into servers owned by businesses and universities to store pirated films and software.

No arrests were made, but 15 peoplewere detained for questioning.

“This operation is one of the largest offensives ever undertaken against the organized production and distribution of copyright works over the Internet,” commented Dara McGreevy, MPA VP and regional director of anti-piracy for Europe, Middle East and Asia.

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