Largest Counterfeit Dvd Seizure In State History

LIVONIA, MICH.Officers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) East Region Major Case Team seized approximately 10,000 counterfeit DVD movies from 14 vendors at a comic book convention in Novi, Mich. on May 19. The value of the forged movies is estimated to be approximately $200,000.

The seizure is part of an ongoing investigation by the MSP Major Case Team, Motion Picture and Recording Industry of America, Michigan Department of Treasury and the Novi Police Department, who assisted with the search.

"The swift actions of the Michigan State Police are bad news for movie pirates and good news for consumers who might otherwise be stuck with counterfeit movies," said Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy John G. Malcolm. "We will continue to work with law enforcement around the world to ensure that venues such as comic conventions sell legitimate merchandise to consumers, and to limit the amount of illegal movies available on the streets."

In addition to the DVDs, investigators seized several computers suspected of being used to make counterfeit copies of movies. Arrest warrants are pending on 12 individuals associated with the seizure. Possible charges include Copying Audio/Video Recordings for Gain which has a penalty of five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

According to a recent study done for the MPAA, the major motion picture studios lost $6.1 billion to piracy in 2005. About $2.4 billion of that loss is attributed to people who sell counterfeit movies on the streets.

Investigators from the Motion Picture and Recording Industry of America indicated this was the largest seizure of counterfeit DVD movies in state history.


D/F/Lt. Jerome Solomon, East Region Special Investigation Division, (734) 525-4434.