FEBRUARY 02, 2002
COUNTERFEIT DVD SEIZURE SETS RECORD
5000 fakes nabbed in Vancouver raids (Vancouver Sun)
About 5,000 counterfeit DVDs worth as much as $125.000 were seized from two Vancouver stores this week in what's being described as the largest seizure of illegal DVDs ever in Canada. Charges have not yet been laid in connection with the Thursday seizure of the DVDs, which included copies of movies currently in theatres such as the blockbuster Lord of the Rings. The seizures took place at the stores in the 100-block East Pender and 600-block Main.

Representatives of the industry answered questions at a Vancouver police news conference on Friday, saying the production of counterfeit DVDs is a serious problem in both Canada and the U.S.  "The problem has escalated dramatically of the last several months," said Toronto lawyer Lorne Lipkus, representing the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association.

"It's putting legitimate business people out of business."  Lipkus, who was joined at the news conference by Serge Corriveau, national director for the CMPDA's anti-piracy program, said most of the counterfeit DVDs are manufactured in Asia and then shipped to North America for sale.  They said Thursday's seizure was the largest in Canada.

Lipkus said the illegal DVDs, which are usually sold at smaller video stores, cost much less than legal DVDs and are of much lower quality.  Many, he said are recorded at theatres in Asia by use of a video camera.  "If the price is too good to be true, it's probably not true," he added.

Corriveau said another way of knowing if it's a counterfeit DVD is if the movie is still playing in the theatres.  "It it's still in the theatre, it isn't on any DVD format," he added.

Constable Sarah Bloor said she doesn't know when charges will be laid in connection with Thursday's seizures, as the investigation is ongoing.  Lipkus said companies selling counterfeit DVDs could be fines up to $1 million on fraud or infringement of copyright charges, but the usual fine is in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.