Police execute counterfeit raid in NSW

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Police execute counterfeit raid in NSW

Microsoft assist in raid with 5000 optical disks seized.

More than 5000 optical disks were seized after a police raid on a piracy ring operating in Ballina on the NSW North Coast.

Microsoft, Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) assisted the police to expose two brothers who were allegedly producing counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows and Office software, games and music and reselling them nationwide via the Internet.

The investigation involved the covert purchase of items from the target’s website, followed by analysis of the material to determine its authenticity. Microsoft investigators, in collaboration with MIPI and the IEAA assisted police with forensic testing to confirm their suspicions that the items were not authentic.

Vanessa Hutley, director of Intellectual Property for Microsoft Australia, said: “Selling counterfeits via the Internet has significantly changed the rules. Operators in a regional town, such as Ballina can now impact honest resellers across Australia.”

Hutley said these honest software resellers and consumers are the biggest losers when it comes to this form of piracy.

“Resellers who offer consumers genuine product and software support are unable to match cut-rate prices offered by pirates and this in turn can result in significant loss of revenue for our partners. Also consumers often get faulty, poor quality products, cannot get support and often loose their money. Every one loses, including Microsoft,” she added.

Sabiene Heindl, general manager of MIPI, said: “There is no doubt internet piracy damages the Australian Music Industry. It’s especially harmful for up and coming artists, songwriters and emerging labels.

“It’s hard enough for musicians to make a living from their artistic endeavours without adding thieves to the equation.”

Chris Hanlon, CEO of IEAA, said: “Game piracy robs the industry of millions of dollars. Buying illegal games means you don’t know who you’re dealing with, where your money will go or what material you will end up with.”
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