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Dutch police raid illegal DVD plant

Shopkeepers wait for customers at a store selling pirated DVDs in Beijing April 24, 2007. Dutch police have raided an illegal DVD manufacturing plant capable of making 900 copies of movies an hour, anti-piracy officials said on Thursday. REUTERS/Claro Cortes

LONDON (Reuters) - Dutch police have raided an illegal DVD manufacturing plant capable of making 900 copies of movies an hour, anti-piracy officials said on Thursday.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the recording industry, said that Dutch police were dismantling the disc factory in Velddriel, southeast of Amsterdam, after raiding it on Tuesday.

The IFPI said the DVD press, which was making pirated copies of movies such as “Die Hard 4.0”, “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Evan Almighty”, might have come from a legitimate plant that had been declared bankrupt.

Officers also found discs that formed part of an order for thousands of pirate CDs featuring a compilation of chart music.

“This raid shows that in 2007 physical piracy continues to damage the entertainment industries,” IFPI Chairman and Chief Executive John Kennedy said.

“Here we have a clandestine factory operating in a major western economy producing huge volumes of product,” he said.

Piracy remains rife around the world. China has the highest piracy rates ahead of Mexico, Spain and Brazil, according to recent figures from the IFPI.

Based on figures earlier this year from research group Screen Digest, the Netherlands was estimated to have lost $129 million from piracy in 2005, well below the $1.5 billion and $1 billion potential losses for France and the UK respectively.

Dutch anti-piracy group Brein said discs from the Velddriel plant were being sold in schools, offices, bars and on the street. It estimates that that such piracy accounts for around 10 percent of the Netherlands’ physical piracy problem.

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