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£750,000 worth of equipment seized at pirate DVD factory

A massive counterfeit DVD factory in a home in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been smashed by police who seized £750,000 worth of counterfeit goods.

Computers were being used to produce thousands of fake titles to be sold around pubs, offices and homes in the city. The police catch included 5,975 DVD movies, 2,300 MP3 discs, 300 videogames, 868 computer software discs, and 885 pornographic DVDs.

Three officers took part in the raid, along with personnel from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
The man who lived at the address was present when the team arrived and it is understood he will be the subject of a report to police.

FACT will produce a report after reviewing the seized material and recommend to the force whether an arrest should be made.

The illegal copies of movies, video games and software are typically sold by gangs who visit pubs and homes to sell the goods. Customers are usually charged around £5 for each disc.

A laptop computer was also recovered along with a number of hard drives, two multi-burners, and 1,000 blank discs. The equipment was used to churn out hundreds of pirated films and other products.

Titles seized include releases such as American Gangster, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, starring Brad Pitt, Sleuth, The Bucket List and St Trinian's.

Counterfeiting has been linked to terror organisations, which are said to use the trade in fake goods as a means of raising funds and laundering cash. FACT estimates film piracy costs the UK industry more than £450 million a year, while the Motion Picture Association of America claims bootleg DVDs cost the industry £1.7 billion a year worldwide.

The number of pirated DVDs flooding Edinburgh has been blamed as a factor in the decline of Capital cinema audience figures.

Story filed 23.04.08

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