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German Police Bust Pirate CD/DVD Operation

IFPI and BVMI announced that German police have raided and shut down a large, illegal CD/DVD and vinyl record replication facility.

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Unedited press release follows:

BVMI – Police discover largest underground pressing plant in Europe

11th July 2014 — Europe’s possibly largest underground pressing plant for CDs, DVDs and vinyl records has been discovered and raided by police in Germany.

The state prosecutor at Würzburg’s Economic Crime department is leading a preliminary investigation against an accused person suspected of the unauthorised reproduction of copyrighted audio and video material on a large-scale basis.

Several properties in the area of Aschaffenburg, and in the federal state of Hessen, were raided by the CID Aschaffenburg and Würzburg’s state prosecutor as part of the operation. Extensive evidence has been seized and the evaluation of the material is still ongoing. The raids uncovered a very large-scale, highly professional production plant and officials seized significant numbers of CDs, DVDs and vinyl records.

The preliminary investigations were conducted on behalf of Bundesverband Musikindustrie e. V. (German Federal Music Industry Association – BVMI) by the intellectual property protection association proMedia Gesellschaft zum Schultz geistigen Eigentums mbH, and were coordinated at international level with IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide.

Dr Florian Drücke, CEO of Bundesverband Musikindustrie, comments: “With a market share of 70 per cent, there is still a high demand for CDs in Germany – this is evident not only in the legitimate business, but unfortunately also on the illegal market. Thanks to the excellent preparatory work and above all the precise work of the prosecutor and police, this raid has enabled us to pull the plug on the largest-ever undercover pressing plant for music records in Europe. The equipment found here demonstrates once again that this is not the work of petty criminals, but of professional organisations whose criminal activities inflict massive damage on artists and the recording industry.”

Jeremy Banks, Director of Anti-Piracy, IFPI, adds: “IFPI was pleased to work with BVMI and law enforcement agencies in Germany to uncover, investigate and take action against this industrial scale underground pressing plant. While digital piracy makes the headlines, this case clearly shows that the industry also continues to take action against those who illegally make money through the manufacture, distribution and sale of unlicensed physical media.”