Recorded music sector
What is possibly the largest black market CD pressing plant in Europe has been raided in Germany, with investigators finding a large-scale CD, DVD and vinyl pressing operation in the main underground premises and “significant numbers” of pirated discs. Several properties were raided in both Aschaffenburg in Bavaria and Hessen after preliminary investigations led by anti-piracy organisation proMedia at the instigation of the German record industry trade group BVMI, with support from global trade body IFPI. A state prosecutor from the Economic Crime Department in the city of Würzburg is now investigating at least one individual in relation to the mass production of pirated CDs, DVDs and records. BVMI CEO Dr Florian Drücke said: “With a market share of about 70%, there is still a high demand for CDs in Germany – this is evident not only in the legitimate business, but unfortunately also on the illegal market”.
He went on: “Thanks to the excellent preparatory work and above all the precise work of the prosecutor and police, this raid has enabled us to pull the plug on the largest-ever undercover pressing plant for music in Europe. The equipment found here demonstrates once again that this is not the work of petty criminals, but of professional organisations whose criminal activities inflict massive damage on artists and the recording industry”.
Meanwhile the IFPI’s Director of Anti-Piracy Jeremy Banks added: “IFPI was pleased to work with BVMI and law enforcement agencies in Germany to uncover, investigate and take action against this industrial scale underground pressing plant. While digital piracy makes the headlines, this case clearly shows that the industry also continues to take action against those who illegally make money through the manufacture, distribution and sale of unlicensed physical media”.