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IFPI Welcomes Raids On European 'Piracy Blackspot'

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

15 December 2006


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry announced earlier this month that it welcomed action by the Czech customs and police against Europe's biggest piracy black spot, and called for a sustained crackdown to shut down and prosecute illegal operators on Czech borders with Germany and Austria.

The recording industry has long complained of massive intellectual and industrial property piracy in open air markets in the Czech Republic, along the 700 km border with Germany and Austria. Together, the 50 markets along the Czech border constitute the largest concentration of pirate trading in Europe.

Czech police and customs carried out a series of weekend raids at separate locations in November and December, resulting in the seizure of hundreds of millions of Euros worth of pirate and counterfeit goods.

IFPI Chairman and CEO, John Kennedy, announced that:

"It is unacceptable that such an enormous hub of counterfeiting and pirate trading should be allowed to exist right in the heart of Europe. These raids are a good first step - we would now like to see the Czech authorities go much further. Pirate stalls need to be shut down indefinitely, stall owners should be prosecuted and the Czech authorities should make those who exploit these illegal markets liable for their actions."


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