On March 15th, 2011 members of the Windsor Detachment Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Federal Enforcement Section executed a search warrants at a residence in Wallaceburg, Ontario in relation to an investigation into counterfeit DVD movies.
As a result of the search warrant investigators seized approximately 3000 counterfeit DVD movies, 300 counterfeit video games, as well as computer equipment utilized to copy movies and tools used to modify gaming consoles. Titles that were identified and seized vary from children’s movies to new and not yet released movies such as True Grit, The Fighter and The King’s Speech.
Steven Scotney (age 29) of Wallaceburg, Ontario has been charges with four counts of selling an infringing copy of work under the Copyright Act. If convicted, Scotney could face fines up to a one million dollars and up to 5 years incarceration.
The economic impact in sales revenue lost to local legitimate business operators is in the thousands of dollars. The local business operator, having an inventory of 3,000 DVD, selling at an average price of $20.00/DVD, would generate sales of $60,000. With 300 counterfeit video games, selling for an average price of $50.00/unit, would generate $15,000 in sales. These illegal products removed some $75,000 of legitimate sales activity from licenced business operators in the Wallaceburg area.
In a joint study undertaken by Ipsos and Oxford Economics on behalf of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association has indicated the scale of harm caused by movie piracy in Canada as follows: “Direct consumer spending losses to the movie industry (i.e. cinema owners, distributors, producers and retailers) were $895 million. There were 12,600 full time jobs foregone across the entire economy as a result of movie piracy” according to Marc Proulx, Director for Content Protection of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association.
“Some of the indicators that suggest a product is counterfeit include; packaging with spelling errors or poor quality, price, the location where the goods are purchased and the quality of the product” states Cpl. Anne Garneau of the Windsor Detachment Federal Enforcement Section. “Consumers should be aware of these indicators”.
Anyone with information regarding the sale and /or manufacturing or distributing of Pirated DVD movies and games is invited to contact your local RCMP Detachment at 1-800-387-0020 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-265-4444.