Police seize two million tapes in Egypt's biggest ever piracy raid
Police from the Giza Security Department in Egypt have seized nearly two million counterfeit music cassettes in the largest ever music piracy seizure in the Middle East.
IFPI, representing the global recording industry, commended the Egyptian authorities for their commitment to tackling the country's very high level of music piracy. Next to Lebanon, where the piracy rate is almost 70 percent, Egypt has one of the highest piracy rates in the Middle East region at about 50 percent.
IFPI, in cooperation with members of the Egyptian Central Association of Audio Producers (ECAAP) assisted the Egyptian authorities in coordinating the seizure, which followed a month-long surveillance of the illegal music copying operation. The cassettes were all Arabic titles owned by various Egyptian record production companies.
Police who raided the apartment in Giza found culprits actively engaged in the duplication and printing process. Along with the almost two million counterfeit cassettes, one million inlays, one million plastic tape covers, six duplication machines and two printing machines were also confiscated.
Police arrested one of the accused at the scene and impounded a van used to distribute the counterfeit cassettes. There is an ongoing investigation into other suspected pirates believed to be involved in the illegal manufacturing operation. The case has been presented to the Prosecutor's office, which has ordered a committee from the Censorship Department to examine the seized music selection and report to the court.
Egypt's high piracy rate has been highlighted by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) in its recent report to the US Government as part of the Special 301 review process. Although Egypt remains on the US Government's 'Priority Watch List', some progress has been made. The government passed the IPR Law, in June 2002 for the protection of intellectual property rights.
Egypt is the traditional heartland of Arab pop music, boasting the majority of the region's songwriters and musicians and its largest population. Most artists prefer to come to Egypt to produce their records because most of the composers are there, and it is easy to find musicians. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)