JULY 12, 2002
(BCTV News on Global)
VANCOUVER -- The arrest of a Vancouver man for satellite and gaming piracy is the first bust of its kind in Canada. It is alleged that the man was manufacturing and selling pirated video games and satellite systems over the Internet.

The illegal sales were discovered by Microsoft; the company tipped off the Canadian Motion Picture (Distributors) Association (CMPDA), which in turn alerted police.

"The industry is losing over a billion dollars a year because of satellite piracy here in Canada," says Serge Corriveau of the CMPDA.

Dozens of pieces of equipment were seized, including satellite systems, devices to download satellite channels for free, pirated video games and gaming systems.

A property crimes expert says software companies thought newer systems such as Playstation2 and X-Box were immune to this type of piracy, but that the suspect was modifying their data to be able to play illegal games.

"According to Microsoft it's never been done in Canada," says Sgt. Doug Fisher of the property crimes unit. "They thought that their technology was at the point that they wouldn't have this problem, but obviously they do."

The 30-year-old Vancouver man, who police say has a computer background, was advertising the pirated wares over the Internet. It was this that lead Microsoft to the suspect.

He faces 15 counts under the Criminal Code and for copyright violations.

This is the first set of charges since the Supreme Court made it illegal last year for unlicensed providers to sell U.S. satellite services.