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Taiwan police raids 'underground' pirate DVD factory

In the biggest bust of a pirated media production racket this year, Taipei County police seized 42 DVD burners and nearly 60,000 bootleg DVDs and arrested seven suspects, the Movie Picture Association (MPA) said.

A police investigation involving forensic science and dogged detective work culminated in a raid of an "underground factory" with a yearly production capacity of 1 million black-market DVDs.

Very well organized, these piracy businesses use many methods to escape detection and are often run by crime syndicates, according to a MPA representative. Such syndicates are often global in scope, taking orders here for pirated products that secret factories in China churn out, said Stella Lai, a marketing manager for Business Software Alliance, a group that helps top software-makers fight copyright infringements. The products are then smuggled out of China via a third country, Lai said.

These days, almost half of all piracy occurring in Taiwan involves software, leading to losses of US$122 million for the global software industry, she said. US businesses said that Taiwan is home to the highest rate of Internet infringement of business software in Asia.

Media-disc burners seized in Thursday's raid were among the 534 burners confiscated nationwide this year, a far cry from the 1,552 burners seized last year in more than 30 factory raids countrywide.

Story filed 11.06.07

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