- The operation is Europe's largest seizure of counterfeit music media in decades.
Between 1.5 and 2 million pirated vinyl records, CDs and DVDs have been seized in southern Germany and Poland.
The seizure amounts to some 8,000 boxes of material, including counterfeits of well-known recordings from Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. A 60-year-old man living near Stuttgart was arrested at the beginning of September under suspicion of having illegal copies produced in pressing plants in Germany and Poland, to be sold at CD and vinyl fairs and over the internet. He faces a prison sentence of up to five years.
As Thump reports, the seizure follows a year-long investigation by the German authorities, following advice from the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (Federal Music Industry Association), or BVMI, which represents more than 250 German music businesses and labels. Speaking to Focus, the BVMI's managing director, Florian Drücke, linked the crime to the recent boom in vinyl sales. "The demand for vinyl has increased considerably again, and takes a market share of around four percent in Germany. It's a niche which has become hip again."
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