BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 06:27 GMT
Piracy 'in almost every street'
Compuiter disc burners
Home counterfeiting follows advances in technology
Someone in almost every street in every town is illegally copying music and film, industry investigators claim.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft and British Phonographic Industry said home counterfeiters now accounted for the majority of their investigations.

On average two homes are raided in Scotland every week to put so-called "social entrepreneurs" out of business.

Investigators warned the pirates will be caught, could face up to 10 years in jail and could lose their homes.

Copiers come in varying guises, from those copying music collections for friends and neighbours to others selling on the internet or in their workplace.

We have a massive file of allegations, we will go after them and we will get them
John McGowan
Scotland Investigator FACT

Investigators said those buying counterfeit music and movies got an inferior product.

Pat Ferguson is the Scotland investigator with the British Phonographic Industry.

He said: "There is a house in almost every street in every town in the country where someone will be copying discs.

"They are making a lot of money.

"It is big, big business and happening all over the country."

The BPI receives letters and calls to its hotline naming the copiers.

It currently has hundreds of live investigations under way.

Counting the cost

Copiers can sell CDs from between 2 and 6, costing the industry hundreds of millions of pounds in lost revenue.

Mr Ferguson added: "It is far from a victimless crime.

"It affects many people and costs jobs.

"I have a file full of people doing it, they will be caught."

John McGowan, Scotland Investigator with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) said copiers cost the film industry 400m in the UK.

He said: "If they continue doing it we'll be in their house, take their equipment and take them to court.

Counterfeit CDs
The latest CDs sell for between 2 and 6 on the black market

"As technology develops it lends itself to this crime.

"These social entrepreneurs try to sell to colleagues or neighbours at great expense to our industry.

"We have a massive file of allegations, we will go after them and we will get them."

Mr McGowan warned pirates can be stripped of their assets under Proceeds of Crime legislation.

Both Fact and the BPI said a large number of people are also copying discs at work.

Disc counterfeiter sent to jail
22 Feb 06 |  Scotland
1m fake goods seized at market
03 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Software pirates tap into technology
02 Aug 05 |  Technology
Fakes seized in anti-piracy raids
01 Dec 04 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific