Fake DVDs, CDs crushed

2010-12-09 00:00

ABOUT 90 000 pirated DVDs and CDs valued at R9 million were destroyed at Wayne’s Scrap Metal in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The illegal disks were seized in a seven-month operation conducted jointly by the Msunduzi Municipality, Safe City crime monitoring service in the CBD, the South African Police Force and the Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa).

The operation to combat piracy and confiscate the pirated disks, which are sold illegally in the streets of the capital began on April 26.

Patrick Radebe, the superintendent of the Msunduzi municipal security task team, said yesterday that seven people were arrested after they were found to be selling fake DVDs and CDs.

Municipal by-laws will no longer be invoked to deal with the pirates and hawkers, he warned. “We will not only confiscate fake CDs and DVDs, but we will also arrest these people because … this tactic does not work.

“As we speak, there are still a lot of these young boys on all corners of our streets continuing this illegal activity.”

Radebe said some of the computers that are used to manufacture counterfeit DVDs and CDs and the machines that are used to make labels for them were recovered in the operation.

The general manager of Safe City, Lucas Holtzhausen, said: “We use the CCTV cameras to inform the SA Police Force and the Msunduzi municipal security task team of the whereabouts of these people who illegally sell pirated DVDs and CDs so that they can take action about them.”

He said the worst aspect of the illegal trade is that the hawkers sell pornographic movies to schoolchildren, a dangerous trend in a country where HIV and Aids are rife.

Holtzhausen praised Wayne’s Scrap Metal for providing the equipment to destroy the counterfeit disks.

Thulani Zondi, an anti-piracy enforcement officer with Risa, said: “This conduct of selling counterfeit DVDs and CDs causes huge damage to the entertainment industry because millions that should be going to the artists are lost to the black market.”

He said the situation has become so bad that when artists confront the culprits on the streets to stop them from selling the pirated disks, they are assaulted or ignored, because the hawkers refuse to acknowledge that what they are doing is illegal.

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