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Alert police uncover music heist

News release stolen – 1
November 14, 2005

Alert police uncover music heist

A police internal briefing on movie piracy in New Zealand has helped recover thousands of music CDs stolen from an Auckland distributor.

The CDs were discovered in a car Auckland police stopped for a licensing infringement. The officers noticed them on the back seat of the car and found more in the boot.

Having just two hours before been briefed at Auckland Central about counterfeit movies, the officers became suspicious and quizzed the driver thinking the CDs might have been pirated.

But it turns out the 3,000-odd discs had been stolen in a raid on an Auckland music distributor. The motion picture association’s anti-piracy unit notified its recording industry equivalent whose anti-piracy manager discovered they weren’t counterfeit at all.

“They had actually been destined for a major department store and some even had the store’s stickers on them,” says the manager, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Still, it’s great to know music piracy is on the police radar so to speak.”

An Indonesian national, the car driver was in the country illegally, his passport had expired and arrest warrants had been issued for him. He was swiftly deported back home.

Another man convicted for the theft of the CDs had only a small number in his possession when arrested and refused to provide authorities with any further information.

- The recording industry estimates that one in every three music CD sold worldwide is counterfeit with the industry – including artists as well as the producers of music – losing between US$3 and $4 billion in revenue annually. RIANZ estimates counterfeit music operations and illegal downloading via the Internet cost New Zealand music people millions of dollars every year.


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