- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 8, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESSA series of raids involving Fairfax County police and the recording industry found nearly 19,000 bootlegged CDs, DVDs, videos and audiocassettes, investigators said yesterday.Authorities raided 25 stores, mostly mom-and-pop places, in the Annandale and Merrifield sections of the county. Arrests were continuing, but authorities expect to take 27 persons into custody.”In this process, we located two distributors who were bringing the actual CDs around to the shops. We seized their vehicles,” said Second Lt. Dan Courtney of the Fairfax County Police Department. He said the 18,842 counterfeit items seized have a street value of $325,000.”These are manufactured and sold to the smaller shops for between $1 and $3 apiece. At that point, what happens is they mark them up between $8 and $18.50,” Lt. Courtney said. “It’s something that when it’s ongoing, it can make a lot of money real fast for those that are involved with it.”“We lose about $1 million a day to this type of activity, and that’s not counting illegal downloading off the Internet,” said Mike George, spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America. He said most of the CDs seized in Fairfax were by Latin artists.”The pirates only copy the hits. They don’t copy someone that’s not going to sell,” he said.The music association tries to identify fake materials, then provides the information to the police, who make the arrests and seizures.”Obviously, we realize the police have other important things to do other than sound-recording piracy,” Mr. George said.Lt. Courtney said professionally made CDs are pressed, rather than burned. The fakes also have cheaper packaging, including covers scanned or printed on low-grade machines.

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