9 DVD pirates arrested for sales on trains

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Robinson said those arrested Friday were independent operators and not part of the same ring. A few were even caught selling movies from a couple of train platforms. “They had DVD burners so they could produce on demand,” he said. The activity was uncovered through tips on a Metropolitan Transit Authority hotline, intelligence operatives in the field and investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, which the MTA contracts to patrol its buses and trains. “We want to provide our passengers with the safest and most comfortable transit that we can and that’s why we employ the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department,” said MTA spokesman Rick Jager. Last week, Metro employees participated in a training program that provided them with information and instructions to help identify and stop people from selling counterfeit materials on the Metro lines. The operation also resulted in the arrest of 12 other people for peddling items on the trains such as pirated music CDs and cigarettes. The nine nabbed for peddling counterfeit movie DVDs were charged with selling pirated works without identifying the source of the works and intentionally selling goods containing counterfeit trademarks. During the raid, an estimated 1,841 DVDs, 5,904 CDs and CD-Rs, two burners, a portable DVD player and additional copying materials were seized. The investigation was jointly conducted by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Transit Services Bureau, the MPAA, and the Recording Industry Association of America. “Just as piracy changes, so must our enforcement strategies,” said Brad Buckles, executive vice president, anti-piracy, for the RIAA. “We cannot allow our nation’s public transportation system to serve as a vehicle for the pirate-goods trade.” The MPAA worked with various law enforcement agencies to seize more than 76 million illegal optical discs in 2004. Their vigilance on behalf of the major movie studios is understandable: A Smith Barney study said the motion picture industry lost up to $5.4 billion in 2005 due to piracy. The RIAA estimates that it loses over $300 million per year to physical-goods piracy. While no customers were arrested last week, Robinson said people who buy the pirated goods should think twice. “It is a crime to buy it and it is a crime to possess it,” he said. “For the public buying these videos, there’s not a single one of them who would feel it was OK to walk into a video store and take one off the shelf and put in their pocket. This is no different.” Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758 [email protected]!dtpost 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! You could call it the DVD express. Among those on board were “Nanny McPhee,” “The Pink Panther” and the cowboys from “Brokeback Mountain.” Those movies, along with “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Big Momma’s House 2,” “Last Holiday,” “Underworld: Evolution” and “When A Stranger Calls” were included in the piles of counterfeit DVDs being peddled on Metro Rail’s Blue and Red lines. All are current top 20-grossing movies still in wide release at multiplexes. The Motion Picture Association of America announced Wednesday that a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department sting last week resulted in the arrests of nine people involved in the illegal sale of the DVDs on the trains, which run from Long Beach to Universal Studios. “This was a shift from a person selling on the street on a blanket to being in a more closed environment,” said Mike Robinson, the MPAA’s director of U.S. anti-piracy operations. “It suggests that it requires a little more work on their part. It’s good that we are forcing them further underground.” last_img

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