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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 06:33 GMT
Bid to pull plug on pirate DVDs
Counterfeit goods
Pirated goods are often used to fund organised crime, it is claimed
A new campaign aimed at pulling the plug on pirate DVDs is being launched at a conference on Monday.

Organisers of the new get-tough campaign claim the dodgy DVD industry is linked to organised crime and must be stopped.

They allege "serious criminals" such as paedophiles and people traffickers are at the centre of the scam.

The pre-Christmas initiative is being led by TV celebrity Lynn Faulds-Wood and Tory MSP Bill Aitken.

Efforts to curb the counterfeit DVD racket are supported by film distributors, retailers and trading standards officers.

What was once the preserve of wide boys operating out of the Glasgow Barras Market has now been largely taken over by serious criminals
Bill Aitken MSP

The blitz aims to dispel the myth that bootleg DVD traders are harmless Del Boy-style wheeler-dealers.

Ms Faulds-Wood claimed: "I have stumbled across underworld gangsters, traffickers in illegal immigrants and terrorists.

"I was not aware of the sinister nature of the people involved in DVD piracy. I have also, sadly, seen children as young as 12 being used to front street stalls whilst being drawn into the web of crime."

Mr Aitken said: "DVD piracy is not a victimless crime. Legitimate businesses are losing revenue to a massive extent.

"What was once the preserve of wide boys operating, for example, out of the Glasgow Barras Market has now been largely taken over by serious criminals, many of whom have an international connection."

'Poor quality DVDs'

He added: "The drugs barons of a few years ago have diversified and frankly it is only a matter of time before the turf wars which we have seen in Glasgow are not fought exclusively over drugs but also over the market for illicit and counterfeit goods such as DVDs."

Lavinia Carey, of the British Video Association, said: "By challenging the public's views about piracy being a victimless crime, we hope to make people stop and think where their money is going before they buy a pirate DVD.

"We want to raise the public profile of the problem and make people realise that on top of buying a potentially poor quality DVD, which may not be worth watching, they could be funding the criminal activities that cause serious problems in their community."

  • More details are emerging of a co-ordinated operation across central Scotland against counterfeiters.

    A number of premises and a Sunday market in Edinburgh were among the places raided by trading standards and police officers.

    They say they found bogus products and equipment used for making them, with a potential value of more than 1m.

    The fakes seized included video and audio discs and computer games.

    Raid lands 1m of pirated goods
    16 Sep 04 |  Scotland
    Crackdown nets 3m in fake goods
    25 Jun 04 |  Scotland
    Raid recovers 5m bootleg discs
    24 Jun 04 |  Scotland
    Dodgy goods seized in market raid
    19 Apr 04 |  Scotland

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