RAIDS AND INVESTIGATION

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RAIDS AND INVESTIGATION


Lucky and Flo in the Czech Republic



CZECH REPUBLIC, 07/13/07 - Lucky and Flo, worlds first dogs trained to detect polycarbonate and other chemicals used in pirated discs, were put to work also in the Czech Republic. At the first November weekend they helped customs authorities at raids in the Czech - German borderland and both of them undoubtedly demonstrate how amazingly effective could similarly trained dogs be in the fight against hard goods piracy which hurts not only film industry but also national economies.

On Saturday 3rd November they sniffed out stalls with pirate discs in the street market Asia Dragon Market in village Svaty Kriz close to the border crossing Svaty Kriz / Waldsassen and on Sunday 4th November in the street market Kravin in the village Strazny not far from border crossing Strazny / Phillipsreut. The operation ended in great success and resulted in a seizure of more than 17.000 of pirate CD-R's with movies and music and number of other counterfeit goods such as clothes, bags and shoes in total amount of more than 12 millions Czech crowns.

Lucky and Flo are pair of Labrador Retriever bitches trained in the centre for detecting explosives in Northern Ireland as part of a project promoted by MPA {Motion Picture Association}. They are so far the only dogs able to detect discs but unable to distinguish between CDs and DVDs, burned and replicated discs, or legitimate and pirate discs. Because legitimate optical discs are generally registered on a shipping manifest and they are not being sold in the street markets and hidden behind closed doors in warehouses or burner labs, the dogs will be able to find discs in unlikely or unregistered containers which usually mean they are being smuggled for illegal use or sale.

After eight months of training in the UK, Lucky and Flo for the first major live test worked at Stansted Airport in the UK. They were immediately successful in identifying packages containing DVDs and detecting event the smallest amount of product in very large containers. Then Lucky and Flo visited the US; Los Angeles and Washington, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Dubai and the UK on a world tour launched last year (2006) to demonstrate for Customs and government officials the skill and worth of these specially trained dogs.

The greatest success has come with operation in Malaysia. During the six deployment on "Operation Double Trouble," Lucky and Flo accompanied Malaysian and Filipino enforcement Officers on thirty-five raids in which twenty-six people were arrested and charged with copyright violations. From April through August, Lucky and Flo were successful in locating more than 1.88 million pirated discs with an estimated street value of over $3.5 million, 97 burner towers that were used to produce pirated discs, and three replicating lines from a pirate plant valued at approximately $2 million that were used to produce high-quality pirated product. Finally the Malaysian Government awarded Lucky and Flo state medals for their service.

The success of Lucky and Flo's work even resulted in a Malaysian pirate syndicate putting a bounty on the dogs' heads of 100,000 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately $30,000), which is well over the per capita income in Malaysia.


14 people charged with illegal downloading

OSTRAVA, 13.7.2007 - Fourteen people, mainly students, have been charged with a crime of copyright infringement for illegal uploading of movies, music and software to FTP servers and making them accessible to other people. For that they may be sentenced to as far as 2 years imprisonment, to financial penalty in an amount as far as 5 millions and to forfeiture - especially computers used to commit a crime and last but not least to the compensatory damages amounting to alleged claim.

At the head of this group were two college students, who provided access to internet to another people and established two FTP servers, to which only the contributors (those, who had contributed to purchase of necessary technical equipment) had full access. Only they could upload and download movies, music and software for free. In this manner they infringed the copyright to at least 247 movies and hundreds of serial episodes. Just during the summer 2006 were these protected works downloaded more than 1500 times not excepting pre-view titles at that time such as Da Vinci Code, Day Watch, Mission Impossible III, Ice Age 2, Cars and a lot of Czech movies. Czech Anti-Piracy Union has expressed occasioned damage in numbers and has filed a claim for compensatory damages by total of 459.282 Czech Crowns (16.260 €) on behalf of injured members.

Online piracy especially P2P services, FTP servers and file hosting services constitute major problem and slowly prevail over classic forms of piracy such as hard goods piracy. New reality fortunately leads to change in attitude to this type of piracy on the part of authorities. At present police has been investigating tens of cases and courts have been deciding on the first cases.


Approximately 13 thousands movie counterfeits seized
during the weekend raid

STRAZNY, 10.-11.02.2007 - At the weekend South-Bohemian customs officers with the significant help of investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) and Gesellschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen (GVU) raided the street market Kravin - named after its location in the building of a former cow house - in the village Strazny not far from border crossing Strazny / Phillipsreut. The operation with cover name Disk (Disc), which was a result of long-term investigation in this area, ended in success. Commodity stuff in the value of 30 millions Czech crowns (1.060.070 €) - 30.238 film and music CD-Rs (from that approximately 13.000 movie counterfeits with mainly brand new and preview titles such as Flags of Our Fathers, Rocky Balboa, The Blood Diamond, Apocalypto, Queen and 17.000 music counterfeits), 8.453 textile products and 662 watches, 551 leather goods and 9.000 boxes of unstamped cigarettes were seized on the whole. During the 24 hour long control also 6 pirate vendors were arrested. To the satisfactory result of the control markedly contributed respective permits to non-residential premises search issued by the state attorney in advance, for the officers and investigators were able to control also locked and closed hidden in-process stores on their basis.


New offender arrested at Flea market Kolbenova during sale of pirate DVD-R discs

PRAGUE, 11.02.2007 - 26 years old M. S. was arrested during sale of pirate DVD-Rs at Flea market Kolbenova on Sunday. He was selling counterfeits per historically lowest price of 50 CZK (US$ 2,3) apiece, therefore when he was arrested early in 9.15 a.m., he had only 67 pirate discs with no pre-released titles left over. He may be sentenced to as far as 5 years imprisonment, financial penalty in an amount as far as 5 millions, forfeiture of confiscated counterfeits and other subjects used to theirs production and to the compensatory damages amounting to alleged claim.


Two days' raid in cooperation with GVU

CZECH REPUBLIC, 23-24.1.2007 - Investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) and German Gesselschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen (GVU) organized two day's long joint raid in Czech-German borderland. Unfortunately the unfavorable weather cut off all grand plans. The success of the Tuesday's raid on the street markets Strazny and Rasnice not far from border crossing of the same name (Philippsreut) was frustrated by snow calamity on the German side. Luckily the Wednesday worked out a little bit better. Although appointed customs authorities called back their participation on the raid because of persisting snow calamity and the weather conditions were really rough, the CPU and GVU investigators didn't give up and executed at least one of the planned raids on the Vietnamese street market close to the border crossing in Hrensko (Schmilka, Schöna) during the morning and seized 700 music CD-Rs and 400 CD-Rs with different movies. Investigations and raids at street market in Hrensko are generally very difficult because of local conditions. The street market is located in the nature protected area on both banks of a stream. Local streets are very narrow, closed for general traffic and with one-way traffic for service cars. There are also a lot of allotments, each owned by different owner, so searching for culprits is very difficult.


Void street markets in the Highlands

CZECH REPUBLIC, 11.1.2007 - On Thursday series of controls on the street markets in the villages Hliniste, Rasnice and Strazny in the borderland of the Czech Highlands took place. Surprisingly no stalls with pirate movie or music counterfeits were found. The reason probably is celebration of lunar year in Asia {17.2.2007}, which yearly means temporary departure of many local Vietnamese for their homeland, as well as number of raids organized by Customs authorities before the Christmas.


Raid in Hrensko

CZECH REPUBLIC, 9.1.2007 - On Tuesday Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with Czech commercial inspection from Usti nad Labem and Liberec organized the control on the Vietnamese street market in the borderland village Hrensko close to the border crossing Hrensko / Schöna. On one stall 312 CD-Rs with movies, 1.108 music CD-Rs and 48 Game Boys were seized. The vendor of Vietnamese nationality wasn't arrested, because he ran away directly at the beginning of the raid.


Repeated raids have pushed pirates out of the Kolbenova flea markets

PRAGUE, 16.12.2006 - Numerous repeated raids conducted by CPU and police at the Flea markets Kolbenova in recent two years have pushed burning pirates out of these markets and their surroundings. Last Saturday only one pirate vendor, fifty-year old J. F., was seized with only 8 DVD-Rs. This vendor was identified as helper of B. K., habitual copyright offender. Now 34-year old B. K. was prosecuted first in 1997, when he distributed pirate VHS cassettes under name "K. Home Video". As most pirates in that period he was not sentenced because of amnesty of the president from February 1998. This year he was been arrested in August selling 344 pirate DVD-Rs at a street market close to Kolin and in October during handover of pirate DVD-R discs to his supposed consumer, in fact CPU's investigator. In pirate's car and home 735 movie DVD-Rs were seized together with PC equipped by burners and a printer. All chiefs of pirate groups operating at the Kolbenova street markets were already arrested, so pirates consider these markets too dangerous to continue in piracy sale. Czech Anti-Piracy Union continues in monitoring of and surroundings; the situation looks quite now, even only one pirate was not reported.


250 Customs Officers Raided Street Market Dragoun

CHEB, 2.12.2006 - On Saturday uncommonly huge control of counterfeits took place in the street market Dragoun in the city of Cheb not far from border crossing Svaty Kriz / Waldsassen. On the whole 250 customs officers executed control of 130 stalls and seized 4 trucks of counterfeit textile and boots, 3 vans of film and music pirate CD-Rs and huge amount of unstamped cigarettes in the cost of couple millions Crowns. The raid was extraordinary not only by its size and extent but also by the fact, that customs officers were protected by masked armed men and accompanied by service dogs. Customs obtained permission to non-residential search of so many stalls from the state attorney for the first time. Therefore they could open all the locked stalls and seize all the found counterfeit and pirate goods. Most of the stalls had secret hidden stores and whole the complex was full of secret escape ways. Also built-in stock was uncovered; customs had to demolish it to get in. Customs authorities plan on continuing with similar raids at least till Christmas.


Raid on the Market Loucna

LOUCNA, 27.11.2006 - On Monday November 27th investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR together with officers from Customs authority in Chomutov, Customs directory in Usti nad Labem and police investigators from Usti nad Labem raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market in the village Loucna placed in Chomutov district in the border region of North Bohemia close to the border crossing Bozi dar / Oberwiesenthal. On the market 117 counterfeit CD-Rs with movie content so called "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films and about 450 CD-R's with different music and also quantity of counterfeit textile and tobacco products were found and seized.


Several monthly investigations have ended in arresting three pirates

PRAGUE, 26.11.2006 - For several months CPU's investigator has collected evidences against a criminal group operating at Flea market Kolbenova as well as on burn-on-order system. CPU's investigators together with police already arrested vendors of this group including chief vendor V. P. several times but the organizer and burner R. V. evaded the justice up to now. On Sunday police officers from District directory of Prague III and from local police department Vysocany together with investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union arrested Mr. R. V. and his two vendors, juvenile I. I. already charged for frequent copyright violations and new help-mate D. K. The investigation continues because there is high risk that they will continue their piracy activities.


Next raid with GVU

ROZVADOV, 25.11.2006 - On Saturday, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU), International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and German Gesselschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen (GVU) in cooperation with Czech custom officers from Tachov and Pilsen and Czech policemen from several departments of Alien police scheduled a next joint operation in borderland, this once aimed at Vietnamese street market place Sv. Katerina (St. Catherine) not far from the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhouse). Although the raid was revealed in advance and on the market place no stall with film and music counterfeits was found open, they didn't let that discourage them and raided the market place once more with relevant house searches obtained from state attorney as was arranged in advance. This time 4.604 "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format were seized and the owners or more precisely occupiers of raided stalls are sought to be examined.


Investigation of Internet Advertiser

NACHOD, 13.11.2006 - Police officers in cooperation with Czech Anti-Piracy Union have investigated the case of 40 years old advertiser, who did illegally put on the market pirate copies of film and music works by means of advertising server Annonce (www.annonce.cz) on internet. Police officers executed house search and seized almost 400 DVD-Rs with various films and about 200 music CD-Rs. Next DVD-Rs with movies were seized from her customers. At present Czech Anti-Piracy Union is drawing up opinion on legality of aforementioned discs and expressing occasioned damage in numbers. Subsequently the claim for compensatory damages will be filed on behalf of injured members. Accused woman may be sentenced to as far as 5 years imprisonment, financial penalty in an amount as far as 5 millions, forfeiture of confiscated counterfeits and other subjects used to theirs production and to the compensatory damages amounting to alleged claim.


Internet Adverts of pirate goods

CZECH REPUBLIC, 7.11.2006 - Within the past 4 months Czech Anti-piracy Union has filed 5 criminal complaints in the matter of internet advertisers, who were offering different movie titles not excepting brand new films via internet. All of them made their advertisement public by means of different Czech advertising servers such as www.annonce.cz or www.avizo.cz and they usually sent some offer list with available movie titles by request of interested person. Some of them offered also music, software and PC games. Their offer lists contained about 100 film titles at an average, but one of the offenders offered even more than 5.000 film titles - so unbelievably high number! In all of the cases our investigators inspected the found advertisements properly and after collecting all the evidences and all relevant findings, they filed the criminal complaints and passed the case on the competent police organs to the next investigation.


Customs officers revealed pirate in-process store

HEVLIN, 7.11.2006 - Customs officers from Customs directory Brno revealed pirate in-process store intended for supplies of stalls with movie counterfeits in the nearest surroundings close to the border crossing Hevlin / Laa an der Thaya. In this store 6.098 pirate CD-Rs with movie content so called VCDs were seized, but unfortunately no person responsible was arrested.


The Leak of Information

CZECH REPUBLIC, 1.-5.11.2006 - During the last week three raids in borderland were organized, but unfortunately only one of them ended in success. The Tuesday and Wednesday raids were probably revealed in advance so that all the stalls with counterfeits in the raided markets were closed and the vendors were hidden. As far as Sunday raid, which was organized and planned in confidentiality, passed as scheduled. The team compound of customs officers of Customs Authority Tachov and policemen of Alien Police Pilsen with the help of our investigator raided the street market Sv. Katerina (St. Catherine) not far from the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhouse), where they seized 1.420 CD-Rs with movie content and 2.460 music CD-Rs on two stalls.


Raids all over Czech Republic

CZECH REPUBLIC, 24.10.-29.10.2006 - During the last week several raids on street markets in borderland and Prague took place. First of them on Tuesday 24th in the Vietnamese street market Vejprty in the borderland village in the district Chomutov close to the border crossing Vejprty / Bärenstein wasn't quite triumphant - only 20 CD-Rs with movie content were seized and no vendor was present. The control organized in cooperation with Czech commercial inspection from Usti nad Labem might possibly be leakage. The second raid in the borderland, which took place on Thursday 26th, was more successful. Officers of the Customs authority in Chomutov in cooperation with investigators from CPU and IFPI made the control on the street market Raselina in the district Cheb and seized 600 CD-Rs with movies and 1500 music CD-Rs. The young vendoress of Vietnamese nationality was arrested and will be investigated for copyright infringement.

On Saturday 28th, police officers from District directory of Prague III and from local police department Vysocany together with investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union conducted another raid on Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9. During the raid two pirate vendors of Czech nationality were arrested - young pirate offender L. G. - only 18 years old juvenile who was seen there several times - with 84 DVD-Rs with films and young women in her thirties - who was there probably for the first time - with 53 DVD-Rs with movies. Both of them were selling brand new titles such as preview The Butterfly effect 2, Annapolis, Ultraviolet, Re-cycle or premiere World Trade Center and First Descent. Most of them were rips of poor quality additionally provided with Czech subtitles of the same poor quality as the rip itself.


Three Vietnamese offenders arrested

CZECH-GERMAN BORDERLAND, 14.-15.10.2006 - At the weekend investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU), International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and German Gesselschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen (GVU) in cooperation with Czech custom officers scheduled a joint operation and raided Vietnamese market places in Czech-German borderland. On Saturday they made a search in the market-place Dragoun in the city of Cheb and Asia Bazar in Svaty Kriz village, where they seized 2. 654 "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format and 4.821 music CD-Rs. Also three vendors of Vietnamese nationality were arrested. One of them is not identified till now and the others are prosecuted in summary procedure, which means they have to stand trial at the latest in 48 hours. The swoop continued on Sunday in the Vietnamese market-place "Saigon" in Zelezna Ruda (Bayerisch Eisenstein) near the border crossing of even name, where they seized 570 CD-Rs with movie content and several music CD-Rs on two raided stalls. Two vendors were identified and arrested.


Another House Search

CHEB, 12.10.2006 - On Thursday October 12 customs officers of Customs Directory Plzen (Pilsen) and Customs Authority Cheb with the help of Czech Anti-Piracy Union investigators executed house search in the house of long-term monitored consumer, who had regularly taken off 300.000 blank CD-Rs from one distribution company in Mariánske Lazne (Marian Spa) in West Bohemia. However the team didn't strike in the right time, because during the house search were seized "only 10.124 CD-Rs and 241" VHS with porn and fairy tales, 150.000 covers, several videocassette recorders, 6 DVD burners, computer, printer and other gadgets. The suspect going by the typical Czech name of Honza [John] and his colleague both of them men of Vietnamese nationality were arrested.


House Search in the place of known offender

PRAGUE, 7.10.2006 - On Saturday 7th the pirate offender using nickname Karel Polak was arrested during handover of pirate DVD-R discs to his supposed consumer, in fact CPU's investigator. Subsequently the pirate's car what he used for traveling to the place of the meeting was raided and later in the day also his home was raided and considerable amount of pirate DVD-Rs were seized. The aforementioned house search followed on demanding investigation and communication with the offender. On the basis of e-mail correspondence investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union ordered 7 pirate DVD-Rs with movies and executed a control purchase. The place of manual delivery was settled on Flea Market Kolbenova, where the pirate offender was directly arrested and subsequently was also executed the control in his car and his flat. In his car 157 DVD-Rs with film titles were seized and in his flat more 571 DVD-Rs, personal computer and printer. Either the real identity of the offender was established. Offender B. K. is in disablement retirement in the long term and was already convicted of similar act of copyright infringement in 1994. He was also arrested for sale of pirate DVD-Rs by Customs authority a month ago. In the case of finding him guilty of the crime of copyright infringement he should be sentence to confinement in the term of 2 years eventually 5 years, financial penalty up to 5 millions Crowns /approximately 166.666 Euro/ and forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit discs and last but not least all devices instrumental to its production.


The last week raids

CZECH REPUBLIC, 27.-28.9.2006 - During the last week two raids in borderland took place. First of them on Wednesday in the Vietnamese marketplace in the village Svata Katerina (St. Catherina) short distance away the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhouse), where the team of customs officers of Customs Directory Plzen (Pilsen) and Customs Authority Tachov with the help of CPUs investigators arrested vendor of Vietnamese nationality and seized 520 CD-Rs with movie content in German language version and 800 music CD-Rs at his stall. On Thursday second raid took place in the market-place "U kostela" ("At Church") in the village Horni Folmava not far off the border crossing Folmava (Furth im Wald - Schafberg). The customs officers from Customs Directory Pilsen and Customs Authorities Domazlice and Drazenov executed control of two pirate stalls with movie and music counterfeits. On the first stall was arrested the vendor N. N. A., probably fall guy, with 4325 pirate CD-Rs with movie content and 5308 music CD-Rs and on the second stall vendor P. B. T. was arrested with 2313 CD-Rs with movie content and 2051 music CD-Rs.


Vietnamese street vendoress arrested

HATE, 24.9.2006 - On Sunday September 24th, policemen of District Police of Znojmo (Znaim) and officers from Customs authority in Brno with assistance of investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street markets in the neighbourhood of border crossing Hate (Kleinhaugsdorf) and Hevlin (Laa an der Thaya) in Czech-Austrian borderland. At the street market Excalibur they have arrested young vendoress of Vietnamese nationality H. T. Ch. and seized 440 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format and about 500 music CD-Rs.


Raid on Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague

PRAGUE, 23.9.2006 - On Saturday September 23rd, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another of regular raids aimed on DVD-Rs vendors on the Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9. Young pirate vendoress of Czech nationality - only 16 years old girl - was arrested during the raid together with 73 counterfeit DVD-Rs with premiere and preview titles such as Superman returns, Click, Last Holiday, Failure to Launch, The Butcher and The Lonesome Jim. Among seized titles was also complete first serious of worldwide famous serial story Lost presently running on Czech TV NOVA. The arrested girl has been seen on the Flea market for the first time and she was probably hired by Jan Soucek - one of the main organizers of pirate sale there. Unfortunately the organizers hire still younger vendors to do the dirty work for them and that makes it much more difficult to run them to the ground.


Another Successful Joint Raid with GVU investigators

CZECH REPUBLIC, 26.08.2006 - Aggressiveness of Vietnamese vendors continuously grows up. They don't hesitate to use the violence in an effort to protect their goods and illegal business. On Saturday 26th during two raids conducted by CPU investigators, custom authorities and Alien and Frontier Police at border street markets in Zelezna Ruda and vicinage IFPI investigator was assaulted while two other members of a team had been following fugitive Vietnamese vendor. Assaulted investigator was approximately ten minutes unconscious and the attacker is unfortunately unknown. Otherwise CPU investigator and policewoman were successful and hunted the vendor down so the raid on the market place "Pekarna" ("Bakery") in the village Alzbetin was successful - 228 CD-Rs with movie content were seized and the Vietnamese vendor was arrested. At the same time second team under conduction of other CPU investigator raided market place "U Krystofa" in Zelezna Ruda (Bayerisch Eisenstein), where 27 years old woman of Vietnamese nationality was arrested directly in sale with 44 CD-Rs with movie content and 412 boxes with covers. Sales of counterfeit goods are organized different way at this market: there are three guarded closed halls and only German speaking people are admitted into. There are no stalls or closed sale places in the halls; several vendors operate all goods inside. There are only several pirate discs in the halls supplied from a chase outside.

Before operating raids in borderland on Saturday 26th the CPU investigator conducted other raid at the Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague - known for constant pirate sale of film and music counterfeits, where repeated offender of Czech nationality J. P. was arrested with only 12 DVD-Rs especially with premiere movies.


The weekend full of raids

CZECH REPUBLIC, 26.08.2006 - CZECH REPUBLIC, 2.-3.8.2006 - At the weekend series of raids in cooperation with GVU investigators took place. On Saturday four markets in Czech-German borderland were controlled while Sunday raid was more aimed at concrete Vietnamese offenders. During the Saturday raid the team of GVU (Gesselschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen) and Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) investigators under the authority of customs officers of Customs Authority Cheb step by step raided market place Dragoun in the former barrack of the city Cheb, market place in municipality Vojtanov, market place Lipovy Dvur (Lime-Blossom Yard) in the village As and the market place in municipality Hranice close to the border crossing of the same name, where 3735 music CD-Rs and 1938 CD-Rs with movie content not excepting premiere titles such as Miami Vice, Garfield 2 or pre-view Click, American Dreamz and The Benchwarmers were seized.

During the Sunday raids two Vietnamese vendors were arrested; first one with 513 CD-Rs with movie content and 188 music CD-Rs in the market place Saigon in Zelezna Ruda (Bayerisch Eisenstein) near the border crossing of even name and second one with 329 movie CD-Rs, 1035 music CD-Rs and about 30 boxes full of unstamped cigarettes cartoons in the market place L´amour also in Zelezna Ruda.

Policemen from Alien Police also inspected 22 Vietnamese vendors and imposed financial penalties in total high of 10.000 CZK to six vendors for infringement of residence regime in Czech Republic.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings before the raids in borderland the CPU investigator conducted also the raid at the Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague and with the help of Police officers Police Prague III arrested a vendoress - only 14 years old girl - with 30 DVD-Rs with especially premiere and pre-view movies Miami Vice, Garfield 2, Click, American Dreamz, Runaway-Vacation and The Benchwarmers.


Night Raid in Borderland

MOUNTAIN OF ST. SEBASTIAN, 19.8-20.8.2006 - During the Saturday night the team of four police officers from Alien Police Chomutov, fourteen custom officers from Chomutov and 4 investigators of Czech commercial inspection from Usti nad Labem (COI) jointly raided Vietnamese market place "Raselina" ("Peat") in the village "Hora Svateho Sebestiana" ("Mountain of St. Sebastian") close to the border crossing of the same name (Reitzenhain) and seized the stuff in the value of 80 millions Czech crowns (2.849.003,- €), thereof approximately 100.000 music and movie counterfeits in the value of 77 millions Czech crowns (2.742.166,- €) and clothes and boots counterfeits in the amount of 3 millions Czech crowns (106.837,- €). All of the counterfeits were found in the hide area or more precisely hide store among two stalls, which were both monitored by customs officers in the long term.

This raid is especially with regard to the total sum of seized counterfeits one of the biggest of its kind. We don't know the exact numbers of seized CD-R with movie content till now, but we will inform you as soon as possible.


Two raids in borderland

PETROVICE & MOUNTAIN OF ST. SEBASTIAN, 9.-10.8.2006 - On Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th our investigator participated in two raids in borderland. The Wednesday raid in cooperation with Customs Authority from Usti nad Labem and Czech Commercial Inspection (COI) of Usti nad Labem and Liberec took place at the Vietnamese street market in Petrovice close to the border crossing of the same name (in German Bahratal) and the Thursday one in cooperation with COI of Usti nad Labem and Liberec and Alien Police from Chomutov took place at the Vietnamese street market in Hora Sv. Šebestiana (Mountain of St. Sebastian) not far from the border crossing of the same name (in German Reintzenthain). The first market is known by being relatively clear of pirate goods, but accidental controls are from time to time necessary, the second market is usual raid target. We don't know the exact number of seized counterfeits till now, but we assume to be not very much - guessingly about 500 CD-Rs with the movie content at the most.


Another Successful Joint Raid with GVU investigators

CHEBSKO, 18.7.2006 - On Saturday 15th, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union together with six investigators of German GVU (Gesellschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen) and with the help of 19 customs officers of Customs authority in Cheb raided two Vietnamese markets in Czech-German borderland. On the six stalls with pirate film and music counterfeits in the market place Lipovy Dvur (Lime-Blossom Yard) in the village As and in the market place Vojtanov in the village of the same name 15.461 CD-Rs were seized thereof 4.149 so called "pseudo-DVDs" (CD-Rs with movie content) containing especially brand new preview titles such as "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift", United 93 and The Sentinel and 11.312 music CD-Rs not excepting music of neo-Naci bands over again. This raid has once again proved how effective the cooperation between two anti-piracy organizations during the raids in the borderland could be. To the successful result of the raid has also contributed helpfulness and significant help of the director of Customs authority in Cheb, who had provided the raid with 19 customs officers.


More than 100,000 pirate discs seized during last weekend by small team of CPU and GVU investigators and Czech Commercial Inspection

CZECH-GERMAN BORDERLAND, 17.-18.6.2006 - CPU investigator and an inspector of Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen (COI) raided last weekend six street markets at Pilsen Region and one in Karlovy Vary region and seized more than 100 ths. pirate discs! This small team was supported by 9 policemen from Alien and Frontier Police Pilsen that have no authority to intervene against piracy but have authority to check documents of foreigners - vendors - and can provide security of control authority - COI, and civil people - CPU and GVU investigators. During the raids policemen inspected 110 Vietnamese vendors regarding residence permit and imposed financial penalties in total high of 12.000 CZK to 8 of them for infringement of residence regime in Czech Republic.

On Saturday anti-piracy team raided five Vietnamese market places namely the market-place in the village Liskova close to the border crossing of the same name (Waldmünchen), the market-place "U kostela" ( "At Church") and U Kasina ("At Casino") in the village Horni Folmava not far off the border crossing Folmava (Furth im Wald - Schafberg) and in the village Svatá Katerina (St. Catherina) short distance away the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhouse), where 31.690 "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format and 7.910 music CD-Rs (some of them including music of neo-Naci bands) were seized. Also Sunday raid was quite successful. At the market-place Dragoun in the former barrack of the city Cheb 31.400 CD-Rs with movie content, 29.199 music CD-Rs and counterfeits of computer games for PlayStation a GameBoy Advance probably originated from Russian manufactories.

Border street markets operated by Vietnamese gangs are focused mainly on German and Austrian tourists. Audiovisual counterfeits are usually in German language only, random in Russian, but never in Czech language, so these pirate goods don't damage local audiovisual market. Vendors speak German (and Vietnamese of course˘) only and currency is Euro. CPU initiates, organizes and provides raids at these markets, helps in further investigations and support COI by supplying transportation of seized goods. We are very grateful for GVU investigators' assistance and we would really appreciate other help of MPA and German and Austrian APOs as info on producers, stocks and dealers, "fresh" faces and cars, supplying by transmitters, both language (Czech and German) speakers and recovering of costs to transportation and destruction of seized pirate goods.


House Search in Vietnamese burning lab

CHEBSKO, 14.6.2006 - We have finally obtained the results of two weeks old raid on Vietnamese burning lab, for there was police embargo on information so far. Nevertheless we have had bits of information, because our investigator assisted in monitoring of the raid results and filed expert opinion regarding illegality of seized counterfeits. On June 14, police officers from district directory of Cheb Union executed house search in the flat of pirate producer Phuc Bui Ngoc of Vietnamese nationality who had obviously supplied pirate vendors with pirate music and film counterfeits in Vietnamese street markets in a broad neighborhood. Surprisingly not so many pirate counterfeits were seized in his flat (1011 pirate CD-Rs with movie content burned in VCD format and 3859 CD-Rs, 71 VCDs and 58 VHS with music content), but more importantly quantity of technical equipment intended for pirate production. Among them four digital laser copy machines, five CD color printers, one CD thermal printer, two optical discs duplicators, than some machines intended for cutting paper and screening of discs and last but not least two personal computers, two monitors and on the whole 16 CD-R burners. We appreciate the effort of local police officers, because to solve the problem with street markets in borderland, is very important to seek not only the end vendors but mainly their suppliers and producers.


Two raids in borderland

BORDERLAND, 9-10.6.2006 - On Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th our investigator participated in two raids in borderland. The Wednesday raid in cooperation with Customs Authority from Usti nad Labem and Czech Commercial Inspection (COI) of Usti nad Labem and Liberec took place at the Vietnamese street market in Petrovice close to the border crossing of the same name (in German Bahratal) and the Thursday one in cooperation with COI of Usti nad Labem and Liberec and Alien Police from Chomutov took place at the Vietnamese street market in Hora Sv. Šebestiana (Mountain of St. Sebastian) not far from the border crossing of the same name (in German Reintzenthain). The first market is known by being relatively clear of pirate goods, but accidental controls are from time to time necessary, the second market is usual raid target. We don't know the exact number of seized counterfeits till now, but we assume to be not very much - guessingly about 500 CD-Rs with the movie content at the most.


Signal Theft on Trial

BRNO, 2.6.2006 - On June 2nd, state attorney of the Municipal Prosecution in Brno has filed a suit against offender of Czech nationality for the crime of copyright infringement and the crime of unauthorized trading. The case of signal theft has been prosecuted on the basis of CPU's complaint filed on September 2005. The offender as the operator of cable television transmitted various broadcasting (for instance Spektrum - HBO, Eurosport, MTV) in the long term (during the years 2000 - 2005) by means of the cable network operated by his company without having not only relevant authorization or more precisely license contract but also appropriate trade license. He can be punished by up to two years imprisonment, penalty and ban of operating cable TV.


Raid in two

FOLMAVA, 1.6.2006 - On Thursday June 1st, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with one inspector from Czech Commercial Inspection from Pilsen (COI) raided pirate stall at Vietnamese street market "U kostela" ("At church") in Folmava village in West Bohemia close to the border crossing of the same name, where were seized lump of counterfeit pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format so called "pseudo-DVDs" containing mainly brand new titles such as "The Da Vinci Code" "Mission Impossible III", X-Men: The Last Stand and many others and CD-Rs with music content respectively 324 CD-Rs with films and 159 with music.


Four successful raids in borderland

BORDERLAND, 24.5.-28.5.2006 - During the last week several raids in borderland took place. On May 24th, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) in cooperation with investigators from Czech commercial inspection (COI) from Ceske Budejovice (South Bohemia) raided one pirate stall at Vietnamese street market in village Strazny not far from border crossing Strazny / Phillipsreut. Not many pirate discs were found (183 pseudo-DVDs - CD-Rs with movie content, 130 boxes with booklets and 157 music CD-Rs on one stall), because the supplier of the vendors intentionally feeds the market frequently but only with small supplies (just one or two boxes of discs) in order to lower the pertinent damages in the case of raid and subsequent seizure of the goods.

On May 26th, inspectors from Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen and Customs authority Klatovy with the help of CPU investigator raided Vietnamese market "Saigon" in Zelezna Ruda (Bayerisch Eisenstein) near the border crossing of even name, where they seized 1.105 CD-Rs with movie content and 1.254 music CD-Rs on two raided stalls. One of them must have been opened by force, because one German tourist was locked there.

On May 28th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen in cooperation with policemen from Alien and Frontier Police Pilsen, Pilsen - Town and Pilsen - South jointly raided two Vietnamese market places in Czech-German borderland: at first the market-place "U Casina" ("At Casino") in the village Horni Folmava not far off the border crossing Folmava (Furth im Wald - Schafberg) and then the market-place in the village Svata Katerina (St. Catherina) short distance away the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhouse). On three stalls 3.284 CD-Rs with movie content so called pseudo-DVDs with premiere titles such as The Da Vinci Code, M:I:III and X-Men: The Last Stand and 3.146 CD-Rs with music content were seized.

On the same day also the raid in Czech-Austrian borderland took place, where policemen of District Police of Znojmo (Znaim) and officers of Customs authority in Brno with assistance of CPU investigator raided pirate stalls in the Vietnamese street market "T.K.Q." at the border crossing Hate (Kleinhaugsdorf) in the district of Znaim. The market is known for sale of pirate goods, not only pirate CD's but also counterfeit clothes, boots and bags, cigarettes and alcohol and so forth. During the raid 288 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version only burned in VCD format as others aforementioned and quantity of music CD-Rs, counterfeit clothes, boots and bags were seized and forty-two years old pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality was arrested.


The weekend raid ended in a great success

CZECH-GERMAN BORDERLAND, 20.-21.5.2006 - At the weekend investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU), International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen (COI) in cooperation with policemen from Alien and Frontier Police Pilsen, Pilsen - Town and Pilsen - South scheduled a joint operation and raided four Vietnamese market places in Czech-German borderland. On Saturday they made a search in the 3 market-places: in the village Liskova close to the border crossing of the same name (Waldmünchen), in the market-place "U kostela" ( "At Church") in the village Horni Folmava not far off the border crossing Folmava (Furth im Wald - Schafberg) and in the village Svatá Katerina (St. Catherina) short distance away the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhouse) and seized 12.910 "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format and 25.820 music CD-Rs. As a usual among the seized movies were also preview and premiere titles such as The Da Vinci Code and Mission Impossible III. The swoop continued on Sunday when the market-place "U Casina" ("At Casino") in the aforementioned village Horni Folmava was raided and 18.372 CD-Rs with movie content and 19.680ks music CD-Rs were seized. The result of the raid is more than satisfactory especially as regards the amount of seized counterfeits (on the whole unbelievable 31.282 CD-Rs with movie content and 45.640 music CD-Rs). Policemen from Alien Police also inspected 146 Vietnamese vendors and imposed financial penalties in total high of 18.500 CZK to ten vendors for infringement of residence regime in Czech Republic. This joint operation is definitely the most successful one of its kind conducted this year.


Raid on Vietnamese Street Market St. Katerina

FOLMAVA, 12.5.2006 - On May 12th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and Czech Commercial Inspection from Pilsen (COI) and two officers from Alien and Frontier police jointly raided Vietnamese street market "U Casina" (At the Casino) in village Horni Folmava (West Bohemia) close to the border crossing Folmava (Furth in Wald - Schafberg). Finally they made a search only on one stall, because there was only one single stall with pirate CD-Rs opened in the market. On the whole 2.450 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films including as usual premiere titles and 5.200 music CD-R's were seized there and probable pirate vendor was identified according to found lease contract. So he could be one of the few criminal prosecuted vendors.


Joint raid with GVU investigators

BORDERLAND, 27.4.2006 - On Thursday April 27th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, IFPI Czech Republic, Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen and policemen from Alien and Frontier Police with the help of two investigators of German GVU (Gesselschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen) raided four Vietnamese markets in borderland in the villages Svata Katerina (St. Catherine), Svaty Kriz (St. Cross) and Vojtanov and finally street market Dragoun in the town Cheb. Unfortunately raids in Cheb and St. Catherine weren't successful as we hoped for. They were probably bespoken and all the stalls with pirate discs were closed in both markets. In the market place St. Cross two stall were occupied with the great help of GVU investigators, where 740 "pseudo-DVDs" (CD-Rs with movie content) containing various films and 1.420 music CD-Rs were seized on the whole. Afterwards in the market place Vojtanov 120 CD-Rs with movie content and 280 music CD-Rs were seized on the one stall. By the number of seized counterfeits this raid doesn't belong to the most successful ones, nevertheless we highly matter it especially on the ground of link-up and effective cooperation with GVU investigators during the raids in the borderland.


Raid on Vietnamese Street Market St. Katerina

SV. KATERINA, 25.4.2006 - On Tuesday April 25th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, IFPI Czech Republic and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen raided the Vietnamese market place Svata Katerina (St. Catherine) close to the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhaus). On the arrival of investigators on the market almost all the stalls with pirate CD-Rs were closed except the one. On that stall 660 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" (CD-Rs with movie content) containing various films and 1.139 music CD-Rs were seized.


Raid on Vietnamese Street Market Strazny

STRAZNY, 17.4.2006 - On April 17th, investigators from Czech commercial inspection Inspectorships South Bohemia and Highland raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market in village Strazny not far from border crossing Strazny / Phillipsreut. On the Market sale of counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movie content in German language version burned in VCD format has been repeatedly found out and monitored. Vendors like the usual had run off before the start of the raid, but they left their stalls open. On the whole 460 CD-Rs with movie content were seized. As usual there were mainly requested brand new blockbusters such as preview Libertin or V for Vendetta and premiere Ice Age 2: Meltdown, Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction or Firewall.


The biggest amount of pirate discs seized during the raid so far

FOLMAVA & ZELEZNA, 15.4.2006 - On Saturday April 15th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen (COI) in cooperation with 12 policemen from Alien and Frontier Police Pilsen scheduled a joint operation and raided two Vietnamese market places in borderland in the village Horni Folmava close to the border crossing Folmava / Furth im Wald - Schafberg (district Domazlice) and in the village Zelezna close to the border crossing Zelezna / Eslarn (district Domazlice). The result of the raid is more than satisfactory especially as regards the amount of seized counterfeits (on the whole unbelievable 27.556 "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version burned in VCD format not excepting preview and premiere titles and 42.344 music CD-Rs).

At first policemen and investigators occupied the market place Horni Folmava which was because of Easter overcrowded by German tourists and seized 20.100 CD-Rs with movie content and 29.400 music CD-Rs on 6 pirate stalls. Later on they raided on 2 stalls with pirate goods in the market place Zelezna and seized 7.456ks CD-Rs with movies and 12.944 music CD-Rs. As usual policemen from Alien Police also imposed number of financial penalties for infringement of residence regime in Czech Republic. This joint operation is superior to the others by the extent and high number of seized counterfeits and definitely the most successful one of its kind conducted this year.


Raid on Vietnamese Street Market Hate

HATE, 26.3.2006 - On Sunday March 26th, policemen of District Police of Znojmo (Znaim) and officers from Customs authority in Brno with assistance of investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stall at Vietnamese street market “M.O.H” close to the border crossing Hate (Kleinhaugsdorf) in the district of Znaim. The market is - as many others in borderland on German speaking countries - known for sale of pirate goods, not only pirate CD’s but also counterfeit clothes, boots and bags, cigarettes, alcohol and so forth. During the raid the pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality was arrested and 752 counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” – pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version burned in VCD format and 493 music CD-Rs were seized on his stall.


Extensive Raid in West Bohemia Borderland

WEST BOHEMIA BORDERLAND, 26.3.2006 - On Sunday March 26th, another raid in borderland took place, this time extensive raid on Vietnamese street markets in district of Cheb (West Bohemia). Twenty-four officers from Alien and Frontier Police in Pilsen, two inspectors of Czech commercial inspection (COI) and investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR with the attendance of Czech daily newspaper journalist raided on four different street markets in borderland. First inspection at the market place “Lipovy Dvur” (Lime-blossom Yard) in municipality “As” wasn't successful, because the market place was disclosed before the investigators arrival at the market place therefore all stalls were closed. Other three checks were successful. At the market place in municipality Vojtanov 470 pseudoDVDs were seized on two stalls and at the street market “Svaty kriz” (Holy Crucifix) near Cheb 1000 pseudo-DVDs were seized on one stand. At the last market place Dragoun (Dragoon) placed former barracks in Cheb 1030 pseudoDVDs was seized on one stall. On the whole 15.660 pirate CD-Rs with different music and 2.500 pseudoDVDs in German language version burned in VCD format as usual with up-to-date and pre-view titles were seized during the raid. Officers of Alien police also have set number of penalties in total 35.000, - Kc (1468 $) for infringement of stay regime and two offenders of Vietnamese nationality were put into expulsion custody for infringement of ban on stay in Czech Republic. Although this raid especially in the light of relatively small number of movie counterfeits is not one of the biggest, it is very important and historically unique especially by its range – 4 checks on four different markets within a day and two vendors in expatriated custody. This chain of raids came after previous day raid at street market Dragoun when one inspector of COI was roughly attacked and 17 thousands CD-Rs with music and movies were seized.


Raid on Folmava

FOLMAVA, 16.3.2006 - On March 16th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, International Federation of Phonographic Industry Czech Republic (IFPI CR) and Czech Commercial Inspection from Pilsen (COI) jointly raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market "U kostela" ("At church") in Folmava village in West Bohemia close to the border crossing of even name. On three stalls were seized lump of counterfeit pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version burned in VCD format so called "pseudo-DVDs" and music CD-Rs respectively 10.460 pseudo DVDs containing various films as usual not excepting in Czech Republic pre-view titles such as Syriana, Casanova, The Fog and Firewall and 5.230 music CDs. On the biggest stall were also among others seized so far incomplete discs - burnt CD-Rs in boxes and fascicles of unopened copies of booklets - all of them prepared for make out and subsequent pirate sale. If you are interested you can find attached some documentation pictures.

This raid was only one at border street markets where we have found more movie counterfeits than music ones. Usually phonographic records prevail in proportion 2:1. This raid is also interesting from other point of view - it confirms our previous suspicion, that also Russians are consumers of therein sold counterfeits. There were Russian speaking persons with a car registered in Germany that asked for counterfeits and also several pirate movies in Russian language were found again (first capture of counterfeits in Russian language at border street markets we have registered on March 2, 2006).


Raid on two pirate stalls

STRAZNY, 2.3.2006 - On March 2nd, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with investigators from Czech commercial inspection Inspectorships South Bohemia and Highland raided two recurrent pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market in village Strazny not far from border crossing Strazny / Phillipsreut. On these stalls pirate sale of counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version only burned in VCD format has been repeatedly found out. Vendors unfortunately had run off before the start of the raid, but they left their stalls open. On the first stall only 88 pseudo-DVDs and 89 music CD-Rs and on the second one 248 pseudo-DVDs and 400 music CD-Rs were seized. As usual there were mainly requested brand new blockbusters such as preview Brokeback Mountain, Capote or The Pink Panther and premiere Hostel, Munich, Jarhead and many others.


Raid on Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague

PRAGUE, 19.2.2006 - On Sunday February 19th, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from local police department Vysocany conducted successful raid on Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9. During the raid were arrested three pirate vendors of Czech nationality - unteachable woman known for her repeated pirate activities and her two male assistants. On the whole 88 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized and among them as usual brand new titles such as preview The Dukes of Hazard and premiere Jarhead or Fog. The woman, Eva Ruzickova, is a head of one gang operating at the Flea Market Kolbenova and has directed activities of several vendors including two once arrested last Sunday and other three arrested during previous raids. She personally was sentenced twice, for the last time on January, 2006. CPU presented motion to the public prosecutor against this sentence because of low punishment. Since the prosecutor has accepted it the cause will be newly discussed at the court.


Another joint raid with Alien Police

ZELEZNA & SV. KATERINA, 18.2.2006 - On Saturday February 18th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR and two investigators from Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen in cooperation with six policemen from Alien and Frontier Police Pilsen arranged for big joint operation and raided two Vietnamese market place, first one in village Zelezna close to the border crossing Zelezna / Eslarn (district Domazlice) and second one in village Sv. Katerina / St. Catherine close to the border crossing Rozvadov / Waldhaus (district Tachov). Cooperation with alien police has been very effective once again. The course of the raid was same as last time, just as was proven. Both raids started with police arrival to the market and the control of documentation and respective residence permits of Vietnamese vendors. The vendors didn't close the stalls before police officers from Alien police but they only tried to avoid the control of their documentation. A little while afterwards investigators of Czech commercial, Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR arrived to the market place and the control of counterfeit goods began. Finally 8.089 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films not excepting pre-view and brand new titles such as Jarhead, Memoirs of Geisha, Hostel and Capote and 11.068 music CD-R's were seized on five stalls at the street market Zelezna and 2 stalls at the street market Sv. Katerina. Policemen from Alien Police Pilsen also have laid on number of financial penalties for infringement of residence regime in Czech Republic. By the extent of both raids and high number of seized counterfeits discs these raids can be definitely counted among the most successful ones of its kinds and are the biggest raids conducted this year.


Raid on the Vietnamese Street Market Loucna

LOUCNA, 19.2.2006 - On Sunday February 19th, raid in border region of North Bohemia took also place. Investigatore of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR together with officers from Customs authority in Chomutov and Czech commercial inspection from Usti nad Labem raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market in the village Loucna placed in the borderland of Chomutov district. On six pirate stalls 2.942 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films and about 9.683 CD-R's with different music were found and seized on the whole.


Joint raid with Alien Police

FOLMAVA, 2.2.2006 - On Friday February 2nd, Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen in cooperation with investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR and with the help of policemen from Alien and Frontier Police raided Vietnamese market place Folmava close to the border crossing of even name. Joint cooperation with alien police has been very effective, not only during the course of the raid itself, but also for obtaining new information about the course of business on the particular pirate stalls in the market place, such as daily gains, prize for collection of counterfeit CD-Rs and motor vehicle license plates of German customers, who buy CD-Rs regularly and in a large extent and probably sell them further to their clients in Germany. In addition we have suspicion regarding cooperation with German citizens in pirate master production, because we also seized program of City Straubing Dom Cinema in near German city Straubing and we have some information about camcording of mainly premiere titles and its subsequent sale to the Vietnamese markets.

The Friday raid started with arrival policemen of alien police to the market, who began to control documentation and respective residence permits of Vietnamese vendors. The vendors didn't close the stalls before them, but they only tried to avoid the control of their documentation. A little while afterwards investigators of Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen, Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI CR arrived to the market place and began the control of counterfeit goods. Finally 4.920 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films not excepting pre-view and brand new titles such as Jarhead, The Fog, Walking the Line, Munich or Saw II and 11.000 music CD-R's were seized. By high number of seized counterfeits this raid is one of the most successful one of its kinds.


Raids in bazaars

BRECLAV, 23.1.2006 - On Monday January 23rd, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with policemen from Breclav (South Moravia) raided six bazaars in Breclav. Our investigator had received inquiry suggestion, checked it up by executing control purchase and subsequently filed complaint to local Police office. Pirate DVD's were seized in only one of six raided bazaars and the pirate vendor was also identified. Moreover the entrepreneur of the bazaar admitted that he had known about the illegality of secured DVD's, so he is not also unblamable. Police officers intend to gain house search warrant and carry on the investigation.


Next raid in Czech-Austrian borderland

HATE, 27.1.2006 - On Friday January 27th, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union with assistance of officers from Customs authority in Brno and Czech commercial inspection in Brno raided two pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market Excalibur close to the border crossing Hate (Kleinhaugsdorf) in the district of Znaim. During the raid 2.000 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version burned in VCD format with premiere titles and 4.990 music CD-Rs were seized. The offender is unfortunately unknown because he ran off before the raid beginning.


Joint raid with Alien Police.

SV. KATERINA, 27.1.2006 - On Friday January 27th, joint raid in cooperation with alien police took place in the Vietnamese market place Svata Katerina (St. Catherine) close to the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhaus). Policemen of alien police raided the market place and started to control documentation of Vietnamese vendors, who didn't close the stalls before them as usual, but only tried to avoid the control of their documentation. A little while afterwards investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen together with officers of Customs authority in Rozvadov arrived to the market place and began the control of counterfeit goods. Finally 1.992 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films not excepting pre-view and brand new titles such as Fun with Dick and Jane, Pride and Prejudice, Hooligans, Munich or Saw II and 3.632 CD-R's containing various music were seized on the whole. Our investigator also did seize a breakdown of weekly sales, which proceed about 2.000 € on the average.


Raid in Czech-German borderland

SV. KATERINA, 21.1.2006 - On Janury 21st, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI Czech Republic in cooperation with officers of Customs authority in Rozvadov and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen raided Vietnamese market place Svata Katerina (St. Catherine) close to the border crossing Rozvadov (Waldhaus). On arrival at the market all stalls were closed. Supposedly somebody had warned pirate vendors against on-coming raid once again, so that the team decided to leave the market and raid it surprisingly enough three hours later. This time all stalls were open and the raid has eventually met expectations. At the whole 718 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films as usual not excepting pre-view and brand new titles such as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Fun with Dick and Jane, Domino, Munich or Saw II and 1.916 CD-R's containing various music were seized.


Raid in Czech-Austrian borderland

HATE, 19.1.2006 - On January 19th, policemen of District Police of Znojmo (Znaim) and officers of Customs authority in Jihlava with assistance of two investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market "T.K.Q." at the border crossing Hate (Kleinhaugsdorf) in the district of Znaim. The market is known for sale of pirate goods, not only pirate CD's but also counterfeit clothes, boots and bags, cigarettes and alcohol and so forth. During the raid 343 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" - pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version only burned in VCD format among them for example pre-view "Pride and Prejudice", Munich or Domino and 431 music CD-Rs were seized and thirty-three years old pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality was arrested.


Raids on Street Markets

KRIMOV, 11.-12.1.2006 - On Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th, two successful raids on the street markets in a borderland took place. During the first of them investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and investigator of Czech commercial inspection from Usti nad Labem (North Bohemia) raided two pirate stalls at the Vietnamese Market Krimov in district Chomutov and seized 486 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" containing various films not excepting pre-view and brand new titles and 1.348 CD-R's containing various music. During the second one officers of Customs authority in Drazenov in cooperation with investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and investigators of Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen raided three street markets close to the border crossing Folmava (Furth im Wald/ Schafberg) namely Zelezna, Dolni Folmava and Horni Folmava, but they had success only at the last one. At the street market Zelezna and Dolni Folmava all stalls were closed, so we expect somebody had to warn pirate vendors against on-coming raids. The raid on the street market Horni Folmava wasn't in plan in advance and here we go with the success all of sudden: about 2.300 counterfeit "pseudo-DVDs" also with pre-view titles and about 3.000 music CD-R's were seized.


Raid on the Street Market Hranicna

KARLOVY VARY, 10.1.2006 - Today on Tuesday 10th, officers of Customs authority in Karlovy Vary and Customs authority in Sokolov and officers of Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen in cooperation with investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stall at Vietnamese street market Hranicna close to the border crossing Pomezi (Schirding) in the borderland of Cheb District (West Bohemia). In spite of the fact that the raid has taken place today, we don’t know the exact number of seized counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” till now but the number has not been very large this time.


2005


Raid on the Street Market Liskova

LISKOVA, 13.12.2005 - On December 13th, officers of Customs authority in Drazenov and Czech commercial inspection from Pilsen in cooperation with investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stall at Vietnamese street market Liskova close to the border crossing Liskova (Waldmünchen) in the borderland of Domazlice District (South-West Bohemia). Pirate vendor had succeeded escape before the raid began. Officers unfortunately found only abandoned and locked stall. They were not authorized to open the stall by force so it was fortunate that Vietnamese pirate vendors used to let the keys to stall hidden under the door frame, therefore custom officers did find it and seized pirate discs at the least. On the pirate stall 968 counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” containing various films was found and seized on the whole. Customs authority will try to identify the pirate vendor by other investigation.


Kid Vendors at Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague

PRAGUE, 11.12.2005 - As we have already informed you, pirate vendors at Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague 9 have a new tactic. They are using kids and youths to sell pirate DVDs in their room. They are just observing from a distance; supplying them with new stuff and collecting money. Adult vendors are usually known offenders who are trying to avoid criminal prosecution in the manner and this tactic is unfortunately successful till now. Therefore CPU prepares motion to state attorney to limit child abuse in copyright crimes and to prosecute pirates as organized groups.

The latest pirate trend was proved also during the last raid which took place this Sunday on December 11th. Investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another of regular raids aimed on DVD-Rs vendors and arrested three vendors from two sale places. First of them was only 14 years old kid of Russian nationality, second one fifteen years old boy from children’s home who was selling pirate DVD-Rs in lieu of his regular outing and third one adult pirate vendor - known offender - who was arrested at the market for the fourth time from the summer. About 200 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized on the whole and among them for example premiere “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”.


Raid on the Street Market Loucna

LOUCNA, 10.12.2005 - On December 10th, officers of Customs authority in Chomutov and Czech commercial inspection in cooperation with Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market in the village Loucna in the borderland of Chomutov District (North Bohemia). On the pirate stalls 1.088 counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” containing various films and about 6.000 CD-R’s containing music was found and seized on the whole.


One of the biggest case of DVD-R piracy so far

KARLOVY VARY, 29.11.2005 - Czech Anti-Piracy Union has participated in criminal prosecution of DVD-R piracy of two pirate vendors in powers of police officers from Karlovy Vary (Northwest Bohemia). They both used to make illegal copies of different films, music, application software and computer games for Playstation on DVD-Rs and CD-Rs and subsequently sold them by means of stock lists in their place of business Second-hand Sance {Chance} in small town Jachymov {not far from Karlovy Vary}. During house searches were seized record-breaking amount of counterfeit DVD-Rs with films not excepting pre-view titles, namely 1189 pirate DVD-Rs and 99 CD-Rs with films on the whole and further unspecified huge amount of CD-Rs containing music, application software and computer games for Playstation. Czech Anti-Piracy Union drew up opinion on legality of aforementioned discs, expressed occasioned damage in numbers and has filed a claim for compensatory damages by total of 1.038.462,- CZK {35.810,- €}on behalf of injured members. In the next few days the file containing finding of fact will be passed on state attorney to could bring an action.


Set of raids on organizing group of 11 pirates with cover name Author


CZECH REPUBLIC, 15.11.2005 - On September 15th, few months efforts of custom officers from Customs Directory in Pilsen (West Bohemia) culminated in revelation of organizing group of 11 pirate distributors of Vietnamese nationality. Approximately 60 custom officers from directories in Pilsen, Ceske Budejovice (South Bohemia) and Usti nad Labem (North Bohemia) with the help of investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI Czech Republic participated in operation with cover name Author. The group of 11 pirates has organized Asian pirate market in the long term. They used to burn preview and premiere titles and distributed them among Asian pirate street vendors. During the raid 10 domiciliary searches and non-residential premises searches were executed. The great success is that not only distributors of counterfeit goods but also two labs, printing and completing facilities and stocks were raided and conclusive evidences for criminal proceedings were found. The operation successfully resulted in seizure of almost 35.000 pcs. of counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” containing films and music CD-R’s, 20.000 pcs. of blank boxes, huge quantity of booklets, 65 burners, 4 colored printers, 4 computers, a copy machine and 3 screen printers. You can see some pictures at http://www.cpufilm.cz/fotky_200511.html.


Next Raid on Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague


PRAGUE, 13.11.2005 - On September 13th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another of regular raids on DVD-Rs vendors at Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague 9. As it is more and more often there were only few children and youths and no adult vendor. Pirates try to use kids to avoid criminal proceedings and this tactic is unfortunately successful till now. This Sunday police had capacity to arrest only one person so they chose the oldest looking vendor - only 16 years old young girl of Czech nationality - directly at sale. She is not from Prague but from 100 km distant region and was in the capital without her family. In addition an institutional custody was ordered on her in past so she should be in a diagnostic institution. In the lump 41 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized and among them for example pre-released “The Brothers Grimm”. CPU prepares motion to state attorney to limit abuse of children in copyright crimes and to prosecute pirates as organized groups.


Raid on Vietnamese Market Place


STRAZNY, 13.10.2005 - On October 13th, staff of Customs Authority in Ceske Budejovice successfully raided the stall at Vietnamese street market in village Strazny (Prachatice district). The stall has been identified offering counterfeit so called “pseudo-DVDs” – pirate CD-Rs with movies burned in VCD format in German language version. During the raid 5048 pseudo-DVDs were seized containing as usual amount of brand new Hollywood blockbusters. The offender is unknown up to now, but the investigation is in progress.


Results of august Raid in Vietnamese Market Place


HORA SV. SEBESTIANA, 10.10.2005 - We have finally obtained results of august raid in Vietnamese market place. At that time officers of Customs authority in Usti nad Labem in cooperation with Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stall in village Hora Svateho Sebestiana (Mountain of St. Sebastian) in border region of Chomutov. Operation successfully leaded in seizure of 3.258 “pseudo-DVDs” – pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version only burned in VCD format - containing films not excepting brand new blockbusters, 2 videocassettes and 11.599 CD-R with music on the whole /see the attached photo/. Furthermore were seized great amount of unlabelled cigarettes and various counterfeit cloths and boots of different world-wide brands especially Adidas, Nike and Puma.


Raid on the Street Market Brandov in Border Region


BRANDOV, 10.10.2005 - On September 10th, policemen of District Police in Most in cooperation with Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stall at Vietnamese street market in the village Brandov in the borderland of Ustecky District. On this stall sale of pirate DVD’s was repeatedly watched. Within the raid 34 counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” with films and 187 CD-R’s containing music was found and seized on the whole. A fifty-three-years-old woman of Vietnamese nationality was arrested before she could run off.


Careful but unwise pirate vendor


KARVINA, 3.10.2005 - Almost after year of investigation police officers from Karvina (North Moravia) finally initiated criminal prosecution of pirate vendor from Karvina. Forty-three years pirate vendor was very cautious about his costumers and price negotiation. He screened very carefully each and every client. Also CPU’s investigator had quite difficulties to gain his confidence. The pirate in reliance of general power of fair use as measure of vindication from copyright infringement has included into all phone and personal conversations fabricated evidences of fair use. During their personal meeting, our investigator even had to sign confirmation that all copies are made from legitimate DVD discs in his ownership and defendant is only making copies for his individual need in accordance with Czech Copyright law. It is more than obvious that he didn’t want to act in compliance with the law, but only to protect himself and abused interpretation of law to self-profit. Hereto he was quite stupid, because after all his efforts almost bordering on paranoia, he had mentioned on the aforementioned confirmation his personal data such as personal name and business data. On the basis of these indications police officers revealed him and subsequently in cooperation with our investigator identified him. Since August 2004 till June 2005 production of 217 VHS and 449 counterfeit DVD-R’s containing several of preview films and 465 CD-R’s with Playstation games is proved.


Another Raid on Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague


PRAGUE, 17.9.2005 - Just after a week from the last raid on Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9 investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another successful raids there. On Saturday 17th five operative teams each consisting as usual of CPU’s investigator and three police officers raided the Flea Market. During two raids, one in the morning and second one in the afternoon were arrested four pirate vendors of Czech nationality directly at sale and one supplier who resupplies vendors with pirate DVD-Rs if most of them are sold out. That’s part of their new strategy – to have just necessary number of discs on them. That is vendors apprehensive for their goods don’t want to have amount of titles on them mainly because of still impending raids. Some of them are continuously supplied by their chiefs; the others are attempting to sell out all the discs as soon as possible and fleet away. This time 217 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized on the whole and among them as usual brand new films including preview Stealth and Crash and premiere Night Watch, The Island, Bewitched, The Amityville Horror and Unleashed once again. Czech Anti-Piracy Union prepares wide legal initiation to integration partial investigations to one or more investigation of organized crime connected to the Kolbenova Flea Market. District prosecutor is not well-disposed toward such improvement of investigation so we expect a need to go through a higher level state attorney.


Next Raid on Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague


PRAGUE, 11.9.2005 - On September 11th, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another of regular raids focused on pirate vendors of counterfeit DVD’s on Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9. This time two operative teams each consisting of one CPU’s investigator and three police officers (two of them plainclothes and one in uniform) raided the Flea Market. During the raid were arrested two pirate vendors of Czech nationality directly at sale – known offenders – who were selling pirate DVD’s again in spite the fact they both were arrested not long ago, one of them twice during the raids in August and second one during the raid in June. In the lump 89 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized and among them for example preview Stealth or premiere Unleashed.


Raid in Vietnamese Market Place


BELA NAD RADBUZOU, 31.8.2005 - On August 31, policemen of District Police of Domazlice with the aid of investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and IFPI Czech Republic raided Vietnamese market place Zelezna (Iron) in Bela nad Radbuzou (border region Domazlice). Another raid in this area focused on Vietnamese vendors of illegal pirate copies of film and music works fruitfully resulted in seizure of fairly big number of counterfeit CD-Rs with films not excepting brand new blockbusters and music. Precise count of seized pirate discs is not known up to now. After the arrival of policemen the vendor unfortunately ran off, but police officers endeavor to show him up with the help of their inside men.


House Search and Non-Residential Search


HORA SV. SEBESTIANA, 27.8.2006 - On August 27, officers of Customs authority in Usti nad Labem in cooperation with Czech Anti-Piracy Union executed house search and subsequently non-residential search in pirate stall in village Hora Svateho Sebestiana (Mountain of St. Sebastian) in border region of Chomutov. Operation with code-name “Male Frog” successfully leaded in seizure of 14.856 CD-Rs containing films and music on the whole. Furthermore were seized 261.600 lumps of unlabelled cigarettes, 56 lumps of amphetamine pills and big amount of various counterfeit cloths of different world-wide brands especially Adidas, Nike and Puma.


Five operative teams raided Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague again


PRAGUE, 20.8.2006 - Just after a week from the last raid on Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9 investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another flourishing raid there. On Saturday 20th five operative teams each consisting of one CPU’s investigator and three police officers (two of them plainclothes and one in u niform) raided the Flea Market. During the raid were arrested four pirate vendors of Czech nationality directly at sale and 149 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized. Among the titles were as usual brand new films including preview Night Watch and premiere Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, Hostage or Batman Begins. After the raid domiciliary search at one of the offenders’ house was executed, where one personal computer with its equipment was seized. As during the last conducted raid already arrested pirates have been found including 22 year old pirate caught a pure week ago – a brother of well known she-pirate that continues in piracy despite of one verdict of guilty and other criminal prosecutions.


Raid on the Street Market in West Bohemia


FOLMAVA, 19.8.2006 - On August 19, policemen of District Police in Domazlice with assistance of an investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided pirate stall at Vietnamese street market “U kostela” (“At Church”) close to Folmava village in West Bohemia. One plainclothes police officer made control purchase buying pirate CD-R with movie in German language version. After the arrival of other policemen all stalls have been closed at the moment and the vendors ran off. Nevertheless the pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality was identified not far off his stall and afterwards arrested. He is known offender, whose criminality is already filed in our evidence. Fortunately prosecutor has subsequently issued search warrant so the raid can be successfully realized. Summoned locksmith has opened the stall, where a multitude of counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” with films and pirate CD-R’s with music was found. 729 pseudo DVD’s containing films and 1536 music CD-R’s were seized on the whole. The raid was organized as out of spite to unknown policeman who reportedly inform vendors about prepared raids for reward 100€ per a stall and month. Policemen expect that this raid will provoke vendors against corrupted policeman so they will be able to reveal the undercover rat.


Another Raid on Flea Market Kolbenova in Prague


PRAGUE, 13.8.2006 - On August 13, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted another successful raid on Flea Market Kolbenova situated in Prague 9 once more. On Saturday 13th were arrested three pirate vendors of Czech nationality directly at sale and 161 counterfeit DVD-Rs were seized containing mainly brand new films including Mr. & Mrs. Smith, War of the Worlds, Hostage or Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Highly alarming is the fact that pirate discs are sold not only by stool-pigeons but also by already prosecuted or even convicted offenders. It only proves the fact the piracy is still profitable and pays criminals off nevertheless imminent punishments such as confinement in the term of 2 years eventually 5 years, financial penalty up to 5 millions Crowns /approximately 166.666 Euro/ and forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit discs and last but not least all devices instrumental to its production.

CPU’s and police efforts at the Czech biggest flea market have caught nationwide and regional radio stations’ and press’ eye – they have widely reported about.

Nevertheless sale of pirate discs on the markets and over advertisement is only the peak of pyramid. At the present time more and more dishonest fellows copy and sell film copies among friends, in pubs and restaurants or house-to-house way. Herewith they injure not only copyright holders and whole community, because they don’t pay tax and social and medical insurance but also small upright businessmen and operators of cinemas and DVD stores. That is they loose their costumers and many times they have to terminate their business in consequence of still increasing piracy. Patrons of pirate vendors who usually account themselves film fans usually don’t want to admit that by purchase of pirate discs are supporting criminals who only parasite on film works without any contribution to its creation.

Likewise police statistics acknowledge that piracy as unfair way of living is still tempting more and more criminals. Only within first six months of this year police officers check 538 cases of copyright infringement and that’s more than 100% increase compared to the last year.


Public projection in Camp


MLEKOJEDY, 4.8.2005 - On August 4, investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from Melnik (Central Bohemian district) conducted an inspection of FREE-D-BAR in Camp close to the sandpit Mlekojedy u Neratovic (Middle Bohemia). This operation successfully resulted in filing of complaint on FREE-D-BAR operator, but the circumstances were little bit funny. The stuff of the bar was probably instructed how to act in such a case. After arrival of our investigator and police officers they tried to postscript all the posters and boards containing their film promotion in the sense that “today’s projection is just private” in the course of questioning of their operator. However our investigator testified that public projection without authorization is concerned. In this far-famed bar are very common public projections during summer, which are visited not only by summer residents of the neighboring camp but also by inhabitants of closest villages and towns. We are monitoring this place of business several years. The operator regularly holds public projections of various films, but he usually shows the titles of only one CPU’s member to which he has relevant consents and licenses to public projection. However from time to time he shows without authorization especially as regards the titles of other copyright holders, also CPU’s members.


Difficult and long-term investigation was finished by seizing almost 4 thousands pirate discs and 8 computers


UHERSKE HRADISTE, 31.7.2006 - Czech Anti-Piracy Union in coordination with Criminal Police of Brno-countryside finished difficult and long-term investigation of 41 years old L. R. who was burning and selling pirate DVD-R and CD-R discs with movies and music. This pirate sold counterfeits only to his colleagues and fellows and did not use any public ways of advertising and made all his business in private so it was very difficult to prove his illegal activities. After long-term investigation there were enough evidences to ask a judge for search warrant. During house search police seized 3,788 pirate DVD-R and CD-R discs with movie and music and 8 computers together with 14 burners and DVD-R mechanics.


Raid on two recurrent pirate stalls


FOLMAVA, 8.7.2005 - Policemen of District Police of Domazlice with assistance of an investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union raided on July 8 two recurrent pirate stalls at Vietnamese street market “U kostela” – (at church) - in Folmava village in West Bohemia. These stalls have been repeatedly identified offering counterfeit “pseudo-DVDs” – pirate CD-Rs with movies in German language version only burned in VCD format. Prosecutor has issued search warrant so the raid can be realized in spite of both vendors closed their stalls. In the first opened and raided stall a juvenile weeping daughter of a stall’ renter was found with approximately 900 pirate pseudo-DVDs and music CD-Rs. The second stall hided even bigger surprise – a Vietnamese vendor and two German tourists and approx. 500 pirate CD-Rs. Although the second stall was raided more than 2 hours after the first one there were silence and calm and both German ladies were not excited. They even tried to give alibi to the vendor by an allegation that the arrested vendor is not an operator of the stall, he did not offer any pirate goods and they were in the stall by the accident and did not buy anything. However their allegation was refuted through two bags full of pirate movie and music CD-Rs that the vendor gave them before as a present or rather bribe in return for their statement. There were also TV sets and DVD players in both stalls.


Another Raid on Flea Market Prague


PRAGUE, 26.6.2005- On June 25, another raid on Flea Market Prague situated in T-Mobile Park in Prague 9 took place. Investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted a successful raid once more. This time operation resulted in the arrest of two pirate vendors of Czech nationality and the seizure of 139 counterfeit DVD-Rs containing mainly brand new films for example pre-view Sin City or first run movie The Pacifier. One of two arrested pirate vendors is known offender, whose criminality is already filed in our evidence from the past. As we’ve already wrote our investigators make an effort to track this flea market constantly. Unfortunately police is not able to raid this market each weekend as we wish, but at the least each months. That is definitely better than nothing. To make the operations easier and more effectual our investigators came up with great idea to let aerial photography of the Flea Market Prague done. On these aerial pictures is possible to identify each single pitch, car or almost a person, so that they can successfully serve as orientation plan for movement through the market and organizing of incoming raids.


Raid at the main transshipment trade of pirate pseudo VCD


KARLOVY VARY, 30.5.2005 - We’ve finally obtained detailed information on the raid on supposedly main transshipment trade and complete workshop of pirate CD-Rs sold at border street markets operated by Vietnamese vendors. As we’ve already reported, the police officers from Cheb (West Bohemian town close to the border with Germany) have successfully raided huge transshipment trade and seized enormous amount of pseudo VCDs containing films and music CD-Rs. This operation has run for almost half a year with participation of 15 criminologists and investigators and culminated in the raid on May 17th. In the course of investigation was found that the transshipment is located in a building of former nursery school and functions as wholesale store for the street markets in entire area of Pilsen and Karlsbad region. The manufactory of pirate discs was found in single-family house a week later. And here we go with the numbers which are really impressive! During the raid were seized 116.617 CD-Rs in VCD format containing films not excepting brand new Hollywood blockbusters, 361 music DVDs and 117.570 CD-Rs with music, so on the whole 235.548 pirate discs and furthermore 1.340.700 cigarettes and quantity of textile infringing trademark law. Hopefully this successful raid would paralyze organizing border piracy for some period.


KARLOVY VARY, 25.5.2005 - On May 25, local police officers from Karlovy Vary (West Bohemia district) and a CPU’s investigator conducted effectual house searches in Bazar Šance (Second-hand Chance) and two private apartments; first in the apartment of the owner of aforementioned Second-hand and second in the apartment of his supplier. This operation successfully resulted in the seizure of approximately 1.369 counterfeit DVD-Rs containing films, 47 DVD-Rs with games for Sony Playstation PS2, 1.415 CD-Rs containing various movies, music, games and software, personal computer, large amount of counterfeit copies of booklets and other evidences of piracy like correspondence with consumers etc. Police has investigated suspicion of piracy of owner of second-hand almost two years and even if it use operative technical measures as phone and persons monitoring it has not been able to obtain sufficient evidences of piracy because both pirates were very careful, sold only to people they knew or recommended by people they knew, used codes words in their phone and personal talks etc. Freeze situation has been improved by successful operation by investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, who infiltrated into the group around the pirates, provided two control purchases and that way he obtained sufficient evidences to get injunction to home and business place raid.


Raid on Flea Market Prague


PRAGUE, 22.5.2005 - On May 22, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted a raid on the Flea Market Prague situated in T-Mobile Park in Prague 9 once more. Likewise this operation was quite successful and resulted in the arrest of four pirate vendors of Czech nationality and the seizure of 264 counterfeit DVD-Rs containing mainly brand new films. Two of arrested pirate vendors are known offenders, whose criminality is filed in our evidence and furthermore violent persons who were already punished for. We can only expect some difficulties with them. One of arrested pirate vendors is young black woman of Czech nationality. We know about her repetitional vent for quite a long time, but police officers didn’t want to arrest her, because they were afraid of requirement to look for interpreter and other complications. Finally we were able to persuade them through verificationby check car she has used and happily they decided to make no exception and arrest this regular pirate vendor as well.

Except of new and/or well known individuals that have tried to make some black money by sell of pirate goods at this biggest flea market in Czech Republic two organizing groups that produce pirate DVD-Rs and organize their sell operate at. CPU’s investigators have collected all available information (as cars used by pirates, their mobile phones, first names, recognized contacts etc.) and provided it to police for other investigations. Both groups are under police operating pursuing and their structure and organization of work are discovered. These pending investigations means that it is not possible to interpose the organizers in the meantime, but some members of these groups have been arrested and prosecuted as individuals and simultaneously reactions of groups to these arrests of lower level of organizing pyramid is monitored.


Significant raid at a main transshipment trade of pirate CD-Rs sold as pseudo VCD


KARLOVY VARY 17.5.2006 - On Tuesday May 17, the police from Cheb (town in West Bohemia several kilometers from the border with Germany) has raided possibly main transshipment trade and complete workshop of pirate CD-Rs sold at border street markets operated by Vietnamese vendors all around Czech borders with Germany and Austria. This raid could paralyze organizing border piracy for some period. As this raid was really huge (eight rooms fill-up by movie pseudo VCDs and music CD-Rs, approx. 400 ths. discs were seized that is same as movie pirate discs seized in the whole last year) it will take some time to obtain details about seized good and prove facts.


The biggest raid against DVD-R pirates in Czech Republic


KARLOVY VARY, 25.2.2005 - On May 25, local police officers from Karlovy Vary (West Bohemia district) and a CPU's investigator conducted effectual house searches in Bazar Šance (Second-hand Chance) and two private apartments; first in the apartment of the owner of aforementioned Second-hand and second in the apartment of his supplier. This operation successfully resulted in the seizure of approximately 1.369 counterfeit DVD-Rs containing films, 47 DVD-Rs with games for Sony Playstation PS2, 1.415 CD-Rs containing various movies, music, games and software, personal computer, large amount of counterfeit copies of booklets and other evidences of piracy like correspondence with consumers etc. Police has investigated suspicion of piracy of owner of second-hand almost two years and even if it use operative technical measures as phone and persons monitoring it has not been able to obtain sufficient evidences of piracy because both pirates were very careful, sold only to people they knew or recommended by people they knew, used codes words in their phone and personal talks etc. Freeze situation has been improved by successful operation by investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, who infiltrated into the group around the pirates, provided two control purchases and that way he obtained sufficient evidences to get injunction to home and business place raid.

The owner of Second-hand and his accomplice, who supplied him with pirate DVD-Rs containing different films, infringed copyright law on large scale. The owner put counterfeit pirate copies of films, music, games and software on the market in his place of business. Consumer was only required to choose the demanded title from his list and came to take delivery next day. Both pirates sold pirate discs to their friends from their homes also. It has to be also said, that till now we’ve not filled in our evidence such amount of DVD-Rs to be seized within one raid (even this raid was provided at three places). 1.416 pirate DVD-Rs and same number of pirate CD-Rs is really no small joke in Czech circumstances!


Raid on Flea Market Prague


PRAGUE, 24.4.2005 - On April 24, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with police officers from district directory of Prague III conducted a raid on the Flea Market Prague situated in T-Mobile Park in Prague 9 (http://www.blesitrhy.cz). This operation successfully resulted in the seizure of 297 counterfeit DVD-Rs containing films no excepting brand new Hollywood blockbusters and regional language films and the arrest of three pirate vendors of Czech nationality. One of them is still a minor and other two pirate vendors are known offenders, whose criminality is already filed in our evidence.

Flea market in T-Mobile Park is apparently one of the biggest in Czech Republic and takes place every weekend in the morning. The visitors only need to pay 10 Czech crowns and then can start shopping. It’s possible to purchase almost everything here, possibly because of a seller isn’t obliged to have trade certificate to could vend here. Current prize of one illegal pirate copy commonly makes 150,- Czech crowns (approximately 5 Euro) for each disc. Our investigators make an effort to track this flea market constantly and with the help of police officers organize regular and continuous raids, which are usually very effectual. Unfortunately police is not able to raid this market each weekend as we wish. Nevertheless after our long press police has started to pursue and wiretap two organizing groups a month ago. Accordingly CPU’s investigations there are at least two groups that produce pirate DVD-Rs and organize their sell. A lot of members of these groups are prosecuted as individuals but groups are still active. Police uses the “operative means” particularly for weighty crimes and because of copyright violations are not consider by Czech law and executives to weighty crimes is using of operative means success. Raids in burning labs we do not expect before June because of need of time for pursuing and analyzing obtained information. In general our co-operation with police officers from district directory of Prague III seems to be quite satisfactory in the long term.


Recommitment of Vietnamese offender


HATE, 17.4.2005 - On April 7, customs officers from Customs Directory Brno, local department in Znojmo (Austrian Znaim), in cooperation with police officers from Znojmo conducted a raid on the Excalibur City market close to the border crossing Hatě (Austrian Kleinhaugsdorf). This operation resulted in the seizure of 214 counterfeit CD-Rs containing films and 324 CD-Rs with music and the arrest of a pirate vendor. This only 20 years old young man Vladimir Konecny that is Czech citizen of Vietnamese origin seems to be in his age quite “so called persistent offender”. Within the last year we’ve filed two another cases of his criminality in the sphere of copyright infringement and about 11.500 seized CD-Rs with movies. Both of them are still inquired.

Investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) focus on street markets in Hate and surroundings and cooperate with various enforcement authorities including ones mentioned above. A lot of effective raids had been performed in former times, so we can gladly report the increase of operations against border flea market vendors and producers of counterfeit audio-visual goods and last but not least more seized pirate discs. Nevertheless not each raid concludes to arresting of a culprit as happened during the raids conducted by CPU’s investigator and Znojmo’s police on Monday March 11. The street market in Hevlin has been a fairly surprise because no audio-visual counterfeits were offered there. The CPU’s investigator in light disguise then tried to provide a control purchase at the Excalibur City market as test if he is still very well known by vendors there – and he is. This is why close cooperation with APO’s investigators from Austria or Germany is important for successfully addressing the piracy problem at border street markets. CPU’s current teamwork with associates of Austrian Verein für Antipiraterie im Film-und Videobereich (VAP) is very successful and is discussed to be widened soon from Znojmo’s district (south Moravia) to south Bohemia districts (Český Krumlov first).


Increase of Customs Operations


CZECH REPUBLIC, 22.3.2005 - Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) reports increase of customs operations against border flea market vendors and producers of counterfeit audio-visual goods as result of growth customs focus to fight against piracy supported by training seminars conducted by CPU. From August 2004 CPU’s experts have educated 92 customs specialists that represent more than twice experts trained in 2003. In 2003 customs provided 112 raids on audiovisual pirates; in a year later it was already 480 raids. Also effort of customs authorities to discover counterfeiter workrooms has increased as well as their pursuit to identify offenders.

On March 5, customs of Customs Directory in Ceske Budejovice (South Bohemia) raided workroom at flea market in Strazny where pirate video and music CD-R discs were completed – 6020 CD-Rs with movie contents and approx. 4 ths. music CD-Rs were seized. Currently provided investigations of customs hope to end in criminal prosecution of Vietnamese offender operated this workroom.


Joint operation in border region


HATE, 6.3.2005 - On March 6, investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with local police officers and local customs officers from Znojmo (Znaim) and with the aid of investigators of Austrian Verein für Antipiraterie im Film-und Videobereich (VAP) conducted joint operation to raid the Excalibur City market next to the border crossing Hatě (Austrian Kleinhaugsdorf). This operation successfully resulted in the arrest of three pirate vendors of Vietnamese nationality and the seizure of 1488 counterfeit CD-Rs with films in VCD format and 442 CD-Rs containing music. The confiscated movies were as usual designated for the Austrian/German market and containing among others brand new Hollywood blockbusters and regional language films. Current prize of these pirate discs commonly makes 3 Euro each film and 2 Euro each music discs. This raid has connected to co-operation between CPU, VAP and Znojmo’s police started late last year. Three so far conducted raids have already brought 9 arrested pirates, 7 market stall closed, two opened cars in which pirate discs were stocked and almost 8 ths. of pirate CD-Rs, hundreds copies of labels, hundreds empty boxes and a DVD player were seized.

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JUDICIAL DECISIONS


Next verdict of guilty for online motion picture piracy


PRAGUE, 8.1.2006 - Program has obtained next decision in the matter of sharing of copyrighted movies by peer-to-peer network CZ DC++ (Czech equivalent of Direct Connect). Only 23 years old service engineer swapped files with unauthorized copies of Czech and foreign movies including unpublished ones and also music content by means of internet and his personal home computer.

The District Court in Prague has sentenced him for the crime of copyright infringement to the 4 months imprisonment with the probation within the run of two years trial period, to the forfeiture of confiscated PC and its equipment, and finally to the partial compensatory damages in the amount of lost profit (for CPU members 50.100 Czech Crowns - 1800 €). The sentence is not effective in the meantime.


Copyright offender and Drug Dealer in one


CHEB, 3.10.2006 - Program has obtained decision in the matter of pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality H. V. T., who did illegally put on the market film and music counterfeits in the street market Pomezi nad Ohri in the district Cheb. Notwithstanding police authority found him guilty of the crime of copyright infringement, they suspended his case, because the offender is already investigated in the matter of the crime of prohibited production and possession of narcotics and psychotropic substances and the imminent punishment for this crime is much more severe than the punishment for copyright infringements - namely confinement in the term of 2 years to 10 years eventually to 12 or 15 years as far as he injured somebody's heals or caused the death. The offender is currently in custody under the trial for the drug crime.


Appeal Court will hear a case of a Vietnamese vendor


USTI NAD LABEM, 22.9.2006 - The Regional Court in Usti and Labem (North Bohemia) will hear a case of 45 years old man of the Vietnamese nationality on September 22, 2006. The vendor was sentenced by the District Court in Teplice for 10 years expatriation for a sale of pirate movie and music goods. Although he is convicted by a custom and policewoman, who accomplished a control purchase before arresting him, the defendant denies his quilt and tries to obtain non-guilty decision. The punishment of expatriation is one of few sentences that Vietnamese vendors dread of and 10 years is not a light punishment for relatively small amount of piracy goods.


Vietnamese vendor lawfully sentenced to confinement


ZNOJMO, 5.9.2006 - The Regional Court in Znojmo (South Moravia) sentenced the pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality for the crime of copyright infringement to the confinement in the term of 18 months with execution of a punishment in a state prison with supervision, to the ban on residence in the district Znaim within the term of 3 years, forfeiture of 356 confiscated counterfeit CD-Rs containing various films and to the partial compensatory damages. With regard to other investigated and legally initiated cases imposed punishment seems to be surprisingly severe. Sentencing of confinement is not quite typical for copyright infringement in Czech Republic at all. Imposed sentences are usually very light and the vendors are definitely aware of. Maybe more severe sentences should stand for positive change in boundary piracy.


Complaint against decision of a State Attorney in Prague 1


PRAGUE, 30.6.2006 - CPU has filed the complaint against the decision of a State Attorney in Prague 1, who has stopped criminal proceeding against J. B., policeman of the Foreign Police at the Prague airport. Benadik is suspected of distribution of burned and although he primarily admited his guilty, now he is denying it and says he made copies only for his private use. The prosecutor has deduced that WO is not guilty because also witnesses say that WO made copies for their private copies. The state attorney obviously forgot that the exception for private use is limited only to private use of the person, that makes a copy, nor to private use of other persons. For this reason and also because there were also an offer of sale of copies of several movies CPU presented the complaint against stopping of criminal proceeding in its lawful three-days term. The decision of the State Attorney in Prague 1 to stop criminal proceeding will be now considered by the City Prosecutor's Office in Prague.


Next pirate advertiser on trial


USTI NAD LABEM, 26.6.2006 - Program has obtained next interesting judgment in the matter of pirate advertiser of Czech nationality from Usti nad Labem (North Bohemia). In phase between March 2004 and April 2005 this twenty-six old young man illegally put on the market film, music and software counterfeits by means of advertisement magazine TIPSERVIS. The district court in Usti nad Labem sentenced him for the crime of copyright infringement to one year imprisonment with the probation within the run of four years trial period, forfeiture of seized counterfeits and personal computer with CD and DVD burners and compensatory damages of all injured subjects, altogether in the amount of 172.242,- CZK (6.133,- €) thereof 39.433,- CZK (1.404,- €) for our member companies.


Financial penalty for pirate advertiser


TRUTNOV, 31.5.2006 - Today we have obtained next interesting judgment this time in the matter of pirate vendor of Czech nationality from Trutnov (North Bohemia), who did illegally put on the market film, music and Playstation counterfeits by means of internet and his personal email address mirseta@volny.cz. The district court in Trutnov (South Moravia) sentenced him for the crime of copyright infringement to half year imprisonment with the probation within the run of two years trial period and financial penalty in the amount of 15.000 CZK (660 €) or two months imprisonment and finally to compensatory damages. The judge of the district court in Trutnov is rather strict in comparison to established practice.


Financial penalty for pirate offender


ZNOJMO, 26.5.2005 - the program has obtained an interesting judgment in the matter of copyright infringements. On May 5th, district court in Znojmo / Znaim (South Moravia) sentenced the pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality for the crime of copyright infringement to one year imprisonment with the probation within the run of three and half years trial period, financial penalty in the amount of 20.000 CZK (710 €) or six months imprisonment and finally to the ban on residence in the district of Znaim in the period of three years. The pirate vendor was arrested in the Vietnamese street market "T.K.Q." at the border crossing Hate (Kleinhaugsdorf) on January 19th, where he was selling counterfeit CD-Rs with movie content so called pseudo-DVDs containing various films not excepting premiere and preview titles and pirate music CD-Rs. CPU's investigator, who participated on the raid, has helped prove his guilty by her testimony. The offender had been already arrested in the market-place directly at sale and as the last time he denied his charge also this once. The judge of the district Znaim was implacable and imposed him relatively severe judgment, which the habitual offender definitely deserves.


Imprisonment of the repeated offender


ZNOJMO, 22.3.2006 - The program has obtained the verdict of the District court in Znojmo (Znaim) regarding the repeated offender, who had repeatedly committed crime of copyright infringement. Already in 2001 the offender had been lawfully sentenced for commitment of four crimes, namely copyright infringement, child moral upbringing endangering, child sexual abuse and ward ill-usage to 4 years in prison with supervision and forfeiture of confiscated things. After the execution of half of the punishment he was paroled with probation within the run of 5 years trial period. Unfortunately even the stay in prison and conditional pardon didn't have educational impact on him and he had set in commission of crime again almost immediately after his release from prison. Such as in former times he had focused on the sale of pirate videocassettes with different types of movies including roughest pornography such as humiliation, chains, excrements and sex with animals. On March 22nd, the District court in Znaim with regard to aforementioned aggravating circumstances essentially to committing crimes of copyright infringement and morals endangering within the run of trial period and directly after his release from prison sentenced the repeated offender to 8 months in prison with supervision and forfeiture of confiscated videocassettes and video-recorders. According to the Czech law the convict is obliged to execute the rest of his original term and then enter upon execution of a new punishment.


One of the biggest DVD-R pirate sentenced


KARLOVY VARY, 10.2.2006 - On February 10th, district court in Karlovy Vary / Karlsbad (West Bohemia) has sentenced the 54-old pirate, the owner of bazaar, for the crime of copyright infringement to 1 year imprisonment with probation within the run of 3 years trial period and to forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit articles namely five computers and one laptop, 11 hard disks, 1069 pirate DVD's and CD's containing various films, 800 counterfeit music discs and 729 discs containing various application software and computer games for Playstation. District court also has ordered him to compensate damages within the run of 3 years trial period to the best of ability. Alarming and unusual is especially the amount of his pirate technical equipment - computers and its accessories - whereby he had been cheaply and quickly producing counterfeit DVD's and CD's containing various films, music, application software and computer games for Playstation. We consider imposed verdict excessively easy, in spite of the fact that just forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit articles should cause him perceivable financial loss. The pirate was detected by an investigator of Czech Anti-Piracy Union in December 2004 and after other investigation and gathering of vidences CPU has submitted the criminal complaint. The judgment is not effective till now.


Punishment of community service


PRAGUE, 3.1.2006 - The program has obtained two different judgments, which have sentenced accused pirate vendors for the crime of copyright infringement to the punishment of community service and forfeiture of seized things. By first of them district court in Prague sentenced twenty-four-year old woman to the punishment of 100 hours of community service, forfeiture of her personal computer and its equipment and confiscated counterfeit DVD-Rs containing films and partial compensation for damage. By second one district court in Ceske Budejovice (South Bohemia) sentenced also twenty-four-year old young man to the punishment of 400 hours of community service and forfeiture of counterfeit CD-Rs containing various films and computer games for Playstation. Nevertheless none of them is effective up to now; we consider the punishment of community service quite beneficial for its educative role, mainly in case of such a young people.


2005


State attorney allowed motion of CPU


PRAGUE, 13.10.2005 - On October 13th, state attorney of Prosecution in Prague 9 allowed motion of Czech Anti-Piracy Union, filed the protest against judicial decision and ruled trial on the merit. On September 29th, the pirate vendor of Czech nationality - arrested on April 24, 2005 with 145 pirate DVD-Rs at Flea Market Kolbenova located in Prague 9 - was sentenced to 250 hours of non-for-profit work and forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit discs for the crime of copyright infringement. Imposed punishment seemed to be unreasonably light, especially having regard to the personality of the accused. That is he was already sentenced for another crime against property namely crime of credit defraudation to 4 months imprisonment with probation within the run of 18 months trial period. However this sentence didn’t deter him from next commission of crime. Actually he performed crime of copyright infringement within the run of aforementioned trial period and that extremely increases seriousness of his illegal activities. Even his criminal prosecution for copyright crime hasn’t deterred him from another copyright infringement. CPU investigators together with police officers arrested him on September 17, 2005 with 53 pirate DVD-Rs on the same place again. Therefore Czech Anti-Piracy Union filed the motion to entry the protest of the state attorney with court. In consequence state attorney filed the protest against judicial decision and ruled trial on the merit. Hopefully the accused will obtain punishment which he deserves and which could better fulfils its prevention, educative and retaliatory function. .


Interesting Judgment


NACHOD, 19.9.2005 - Programme has obtained next interesting judgment in the matter of copyright infringements. On September 19th, district court in Nachod (North Bohemia) sentenced the pirate vendor of Czech nationality for the crime of copyright infringement to 1 year imprisonment with probation within the run of 3 years trial period, forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit subjects namely computer with its equipment including DVD burner, color printer, DVD’s containing various films and CD’Rs with music and software, DVD labels and boxes and finally to compensation for damage of almost all injured. The pirate vendor was putting on the market counterfeit DVD’s and CD’s containing various films, music, application software and computer games for Playstation by means of small ad on different internet servers and in advertising press in phase from July 2003 till February 2004 and was carrying selected discs forward by mail. Considering decision practice of Czech courts, the imposed judgment seems to be relatively severe. But what's mainly interesting is surprising respect of the judge to the intellectual property problem. He emphasizes educational function of his decision in the reasoning part of the aforementioned verdict and also the obligation of accused to bear the consequences of his action. The Judgment is not effective till this time.


Prague Court allowed an Appeal of CPU


PRAGUE, 15.9.2005 - On September 15th, municipal court in Prague allowed an appeal of CPU as regards damages verdict and sentenced the pirate vendor – known for his repeated and regular illegal activities among others on Flea Market Kolbenova familiar from our reports - also to compensation for damage of all injured. The pirate vendor was already sentenced to 10 months imprisonment with probation within the run of 30 months trial period and forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit discs for the crime of copyright infringement in this year's January. He used to put pirate copies of DVD-R’s for sale on already closed and canceled Market Obzor (Horizont) located in Prague 4. However district court in Prague didn’t adjudge damages, which was for injured duly and on time filed within the criminal proceedings. Therefore Czech Anti-Piracy Union brought an appeal against damages verdict. Municipal court recognized justice of a claim of injured and allowed an appeal. 31 year old pirate is obliged to pay to damaged members represented by CPU compensation in total amount 99,497 CZK (€3,350). This is definitely next positive step in Czech courts decision making and that makes us pleasure.


First verdict of guilty for online piracy became effective


PRAGUE, 20.8.2005 - As we have already informed you, first verdict of guilty for online motion picture piracy in Czech Republic was imposed in July. Computer programmer from Prague was sentenced to the financial penalty in the amount of 50.000 Czech Crowns (€ 1666) and to the forfeiture of confiscated PC and its equipment for sharing of copyrighted movies by peer-to-peer network CZ DC++ (Czech equivalent of Direct Connect). This Judgment which is the first verdict of guilty for a P2P pirate in Czech Republic not only for motion pictures but all copyrighted content became effective on August and could unquestionably present positive precedent for courts decision making in the future.


Severe Judgment


TABOR, 27.7.2005 - On July 27th, district court in Tabor (South Bohemia district) sentenced the pirate vendor of Ukrainian nationality for the crime of copyright infringement to 10 months imprisonment with probation within the run of 28 months trial period, forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit discs and finally to compensation for damage of all injured. The pirate vendor was cheaply putting on the market counterfeit DVD’s and CD’s containing various films, music, application software and computer games for Playstation by means of small ad on internet advertisement server /www.annonce.cz/ and then was carrying selected discs forward by mail. Considering not only relatively short period of his piracy /from February 2004 till April 2004/ but also not half big volume /proved about 60 sold discs/, the judge of the district court imposed relatively severe sentence in comparison to Czech conditions. The Judgment is not effective, because convicted has filled an appeal not long ago. Notwithstanding, it could definitely be regarded as another mark of ongoing development in judges’ positive attitude to copyright infringements in Czech Republic and that’s by all means next happy omen.


Positive outcome of joint operation in border region


ZNOJMO, 15.7.2005 - Judge of the District Court in Znojmo (Znaim) sentenced two pirate vendors of Vietnamese nationality for the crime of copyright infringement to 10 months imprisonment with probation within the run of 2 years trial period. Both sentences are not effective up to now. The verdicts are definitely consequence of joint effort of investigators of Czech Anti-Piracy Union and investigators of Austrian Verein für Antipiraterie im Film-und Videobereich (VAP), who conducted in cooperation with local police officers and local customs officers from Znojmo joint operation to raid the Excalibur City market next to the border crossing Hatě (Austrian Kleinhaugsdorf) on this year's March. This operation successfully resulted in the arrest of three pirate vendors of Vietnamese nationality and the seizure of 1488 counterfeit CD-Rs with films in VCD format and 442 CD-Rs containing music and subsequently to aforementioned verdicts. The third pirate vendor was not judged yet.


First verdict for online motion picture piracy


PRAGUE, 7.7.2005 - 29 years old computer programmer from Prague was sentenced to the financial penalty in the amount of 50.000 Czech Crowns (€ 1666) and to the forfeiture of confiscated PC and its equipment for sharing of copyrighted movies by peer-to-peer network CZ DC++ (Czech equivalent of Direct Connect). The offender swapped files with unauthorized copies of more than 50 Czech and foreign movies including unpublished ones. This judgment from July, 2005 is the first verdict of guilty for a P2P pirate in Czech Republic, not only of motion pictures but all copyrighted content. Although the sentence is not effective yet it is quite positive first step in the way of courts decision making in online piracy as well as good message for enforcement authorities to prosecute P2P pirates. Online motion picture piracy is increasingly growing in our country as well as worldwide and up to know we missed any positive precedent in Czech Republic.


Imprisonment of pirate vendor


OSTRAVA, 20.6.2005 - On June 20, Czech Anti-Piracy Union has obtained sentence of the district court in Ostrava (North Moravia district) from 13th April. By this judgment in rem copyright infringement the pirate vendor of Czech nationality was sentenced in absentia to confinement in the term of 8 months with execution of a punishment in state prison with supervision and forfeiture of 188 confiscated counterfeit DVD-Rs containing various films. With regard to relatively low extent of the offender’s criminality and in comparison with other investigated and legally initiated cases imposed punishment seems to be surprisingly severe. Actually sentencing of confinement is not quite typical for copyright infringement in Czech Republic. The main reason for this relatively severe sentence is definitely negative attitude of the convict and his multifarious criminal background. That is the aforementioned convict has in his rap sheet four records from the period of last five years. In former times he was already sentenced for trademark infringement, for crime of battery, attempted crime of larceny and several times for crime of riotous conduct. Taking into account that convict was still on probation at the time of commission of a crime, imposed penalty wasn’t evidently sufficient to fulfill the purpose of criminal proceedings, with regard to others aggravating circumstances and last but not least to the fact that convict didn’t enter an appearance without ordinary justification of his absentia, the court has finally decided like this.


Expatriation in absentia


DOMAZLICE, 21.4.2005 - On April 21, the sentence of the district court in Domazlice (West Bohemia district) became effective. The pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality was sentenced for the crime of copyright infringement to 8 years expatriation and forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit discs containing films and music, namely 603 CD-Rs with films in VCD format and 1.796 CD-Rs containing music. Considering whereabouts of the accused Vietnamese is unknown, the aforementioned sentence was delivered in his absentia. In comparison with other judgements imposed by the judge of the district court in Domazlice, this penalty seems to be surprisingly severe and not quite typical for copyright infringement like this. About the approach of this judge we’ve already informed in our report from 14.3.2005 in the way that the positive turnover in decision-making of this judge seems to be a result of CPU’s long-run efforts and compulsions, especially in the way of various suggestions, complaints and appeals. Here we go with the next confirmation. Generally speaking, it could be regarded as another mark of ongoing development in judges’ positive attitude to copyright infringements in Czech Republic and that’s by all means happy omen.


Effective Injunction


ZLIN, 14.3.2005 - The program has obtained already effective injunction of the district court in Zlin (South Moravia district). By this injunction the pirate vendor of Czech nationality was sentenced for the crime of copyright infringement and the crime of unjustified trading to multiple sentence of 10 months imprisonment with probation within the run of 2 years trial period, forfeiture of his personal computer and its equipment, 134 confiscated counterfeit CD-Rs containing various films, music, application software and computer games for Playstation and 800 blank CD-Rs intended for unlawful conduct with accessories and finally to compensation for damage.

In comparison with other investigated and legally initiated cases imposed penalty seems to be surprisingly and unusually severe with regard to relatively low extent of the offender’s criminality. Within the years 2002 and 2003 he put pirate copies of films, music, software and computer games on the market by means of advertising on internet and in variety of computer magazines and subsequently passed them personally on the purchasers or sent them off by the mail. In the course of criminal proceeding was found out, that almost all of his consignments contained solely few pirate discs and during the house search were seized just about hundred pirate copies. In Czech Republic has not been such a severe penalty quite typical for copyright infringement like this but maybe this is another mark of positive change of judges’ attitude to copyright violations.


Unexpected sentence of non-guilty


PLZEN, 10.3.2005 - On March 2005, municipal court in Pilsen (West Bohemia district) affirmed a judgement of non-guilty of district court in Pilsen from August 2004. The sentence is already legitimate. Rudolf Matejka, accused of a crime of copyright infringement for burning support of holders of original CD’s was not found guilty. Within the year 2000 he made hundreds of CD copies with the help of about 15 copying devices and all of that within his business activity. He even had and presumably still has the trade certificate on duplication of music records as subject of his enterprise. In the course of criminal proceedings he and his barrister argued that R.M. is licensed businessman and his operation was definitely in accordance with the law, because he made only one copy of CD for own personal need of his customers pursuant to Copyright Act. However IFPI CR acted as mandatory of involved companies, the legitimate ruling wasn’t served them so far. Therefore all relevant information we have are solely from media and that’s not quite trustworthy source. Although this negativ sentence doesn’t refer to our member companies, its longtime fall to copyright protection in Czech Republic could be terrific. Consequently we offered IFPI CR our possible help in effort to call attention and reverse this unbelievable and absurd decision, which could negatively affect level of copyright protection not only in the field of music but also film industry.


Expatriation of Vietnamese pirate vendor


DOMAZLICE, 21.2.2005 - On February 21, Judge of the district court in Domazlice (West Bohemia district) sentenced the pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality to 5 years expatriation, forfeiture of 4.593 confiscated counterfeit CD-Rs with films in VCD format and 6.190 CD-Rs containing music and to partial compensation for damage. Surprisingly, unusually severe sentence was imposed by the judge with whom Czech Anti-Piracy Union had quite difficulties in the long term due to her unreasonably light sentences in the field of copyright infringement. This quite positive turnover seems to be a result of CPU’s long-run efforts and compulsion to the judge, especially in the way of various suggestions, complaints and appeals.

Production, distribution and sale of counterfeit CD-Rs with movies in German language is very spread at border street markets in North, West and South Bohemia regions as well as in Znojmo district (South Moravia). These street markets are operated by Vietnamese gangs and former actions of criminal authorities have not brought any positive change. A year ago the tactic has been changed and twice more offenders have been prosecuted in comparison with 2003. In general, it seems to be impact of a higher focus of criminal authorities to fight against audio-visual piracy and to punish offenders of such criminality. In addition received court decisions illustrate a new tendency in practice of Czech courts to impose more severe sentences than in former times. As result of CPU’s active approach compensations of damages are also imposed more frequently - the program has received 8 such sentences in current year compared to 20 sentences in 2004.


Rejection of an appeal


DECIN, 19.1.2005 - On January 19, Judge of the regional court in Decin (North Bohemia district) dismissed the appeal of pirate vendor of Vietnamese nationality. He was found guilty of copyright infringement for repeated offer of counterfeit CD-Rs with films in VCD format and CD-Rs containing music on the market and sentenced to confinement for a period of 8 months executed in state prison with supervision and to forfeiture of confiscated counterfeit CD-Rs with films and music. The convicted pirate vendor considered this sentence quite severe and so he filled an appeal, in spite of the fact he was recently probated for copyright infringement and subsequently commit another crime of copyright infringement even within the run of 18 months trial period. Nevertheless he offered the court a proposal of lighter penalty specifically alternative punishment of generally beneficial service.

Judge of the regional court attentively re-examined prior sentence of the district court and took account of all ruling matters, for instance level of social dangerousness, personal conditions of the accused and possibility of his remedy, and further mitigating circumstances of his confession on the one hand and running criminality within the trial period on the other hand. Finally he considered the appeal unreasonable and dismissed it.

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LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPEMENT


President has vetoed the Bill on the State Fund of Czech Cinematography


PRAGUE, 12.5.2006 - On Friday May 12th, president of the Czech Republic has vetoed the Bill on the State Fund (Act no. 241/1992 Coll. on the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography), which was approved by the Chamber of Deputies on April 25th. According to the Bill private sector should be obliged to contribute to the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography, namely cinema theatres 2% of the box offices, DVD and VHS distributors 3% of their gross revenues and TV broadcasters 3% of all advertisement revenues and the Council of 15 members should be authorized to decide about grants to Czech film. Czech president had a lot of reservations about the Act that's why he rejected to signature it. First of all he disagrees with increase in state support of film industry, which he considers to be common kind of business. He also rejects favoritism of one line of business at the expense of the others and criticizes multiple taxations. He also thinks of the selection of subjects obliged to contribute to the Fund as accidental and unreasonable. Though we don't agree with all presidents remarks on the Bill, we welcome his veto and hope for new draft bill. However the Chamber of Deputies still could vote down the presidential veto with absolute majority of its members (101 deputies); in last voting the Chamber of Deputies outvoted a Senate version of the Bill by 127 votes.

The Bill of the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright and on the Amendment of Certain Laws) was already provided with presidential signature last week so that we expect its entry into effect daily. It brings an anti-camcording provision, higher penalties for administrative torts (from current 15 ths. CZK to 150 ths. [approx. €5.280]), defines tort responsibility also for legal entities and punishes acting with circumvention devices, gives higher authority to customs and implements the Copyright and the Enforcement Directives.


Further legislative development


PRAGUE, 25.4.2006 - On April 25th, three important amendments have been approved by the Chamber of Deputies, respectively the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright, and on the Amendment of Certain Laws), the Act on the State Fund (Act no. 241/1992 Coll. on the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography) and the Audiovisual Bill (Act no. 273/1993 Coll. on some conditions of production, dissemination and archiving of audiovisual works). Fortunately the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright and on the Amendment of Certain Laws) has been approved with the senate amendments so we expect quite beneficial impact on intellectual property protection and piracy prevention in our country. On the contrary Act on the State Fund has been unfortunately approved with the original amendments of Chamber of Deputies, which didn't reflect useful senate amendments. Henceforth or more precisely from the force of the Bill private sector will be obliged to contribute to the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography, namely cinema theatres 2% of the box offices, DVD and VHS distributors 3% of their gross revenues and TV broadcasters 3% of all advertisement revenues. Finally also the Audiovisual Bill has been approved with senate amendments such as higher level of kids and teenagers protection and alteration in evidence of audiovisual works and entrepreneurs. All three Bill are waiting for presidential subscription to come into effect.


Report on legislative development


PRAGUE, 29.-30.3.2006 - On March 29th and 30th, three important amendments connected to our work have been discussed in the Czech Senate and returned with changes to the House of Deputies. From CPU's senate proposals to the Bill of the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright and on the Amendment of Certain Laws) were approved the maintenance of fair use definition concerning only works already made public, ban of camcording, abolition of the right holder's obligation to pay obligatory security of 100,000 CZK (approx. €3,580) to can ask for seizure of evidence and dividing remunerations in dependence on effectiveness of technical measures. From our topic proposals only maintenance of article 43/4 to prevent wrong interpretation that the right holder is obliged to allow fair use also to copies equipped with circumvention devices protection and ban on development of circumvention devices were not accepted. The first of these two unsuccessful proposals can be adopted in next amendment of the Copyright Act because the Ministry of Culture now understands that current provision can bring problems. All undertaken alterations are quite positive for fighting against piracy in Czech Republic and they would undoubtedly improve level of copyright enforcement and contribute to better protection of intellectual property in our country. The House of Deputies should discuss the Bill with senate amendments as soon as possible, because Committee of European Union has brought legal action against Czech Republic by reason of untimely and incomplete transposition of Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. CPU continues in lobbying - see detailed report on it sending in few days.

Also amendment of the Act on the State Fund (Act no. 241/1992 Coll. on the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography) has been approved in the Senate. This Bill that has been discussed several years without hearing big part of audiovisual industry has been approved in a suggested word of Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights and Petitions of the Senate of the Czech Parliament. The Senate accepted several important changes in the Bill, mainly decreased fees to the common Fund supporting national film production from cinema theatres, video home distributors and TV broadcasters to 2% of their gross revenues, approved tax advantage of contributors and accepted better severance of decision making between the state and contributors.

Last but not least the Audiovisual Bill (Act no. 273/1993 Coll. on some conditions of production, dissemination and archiving of audiovisual works) has been approved with some amendments such as higher level of kids and teenagers protection and alteration in evidence of audiovisual works and entrepreneurs.

Over the House of Deputies has dismissed the proposal of new Czech Criminal Code mainly because of omission of controversial provision related to asset confiscation and exploitation of information on business relation. It's quite good news for us, because the draft bill also reduced the Crime of Copyright infringement only to serious miscarriage of Copyright.


WIPO Treaty on the protection of rights of broadcasting organizations


PRAGUE, 5.3.2006 - Czech Ministry of Culture has prepared and consulted its dealing position to the second revised consolidated text of the Treaty during last days and CPU had the occasion to comment it. We appreciate the initiative to amend international legal regulation of the protection of broadcasting organizations provided by the Rome Convention, which appears to be slightly out-of-date especially with the regard to technical development and progress of information technologies and we generally agree with proposed draft agreement. However we have recognized several questionable provisions.

One of the most controversial ones is heading directly against purpose of a contract by omission of protection of webcasting and simulcasting from the body of the draft agreement and by assessment of its protection only on voluntary basis in a way of notification or reservation to the Convention or in separated protocol. We assume that webcasting and simulcasting should have identical extent of protection as classical broadcasting at the present time of technical and information society development. Further we see discrepancy in conception of national treatment. We suppose that wider approach, which corresponds to the provisions of Article 5(1) of the Berne Convention and provides for a global national treatment for the protection of broadcasting organizations, should definitely ensures better exercise of rights than supported narrower approach, which limits the obligation only to rights specifically granted in the Convention. Over CPU supports extension of the protection concerning right to the communication to the public in an unconditional way, however more countries support covering only places accessible to the public upon the entrance fee payment.

On the top of that we have further proposed other alterations such as including protection of technical measures to he Treaty or enlargement of broadcaster definition also to natural persons.


Copyright Act after the third reading


PRAGUE, 8.2.2006 - On Wednesday February 8th, third reading of the Bill of the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright, and on the Amendment of Certain Laws) took place in Czech Parliament. Although CPU had reached adoption of its nine amendments in the second reading and other four recommendation to the Cultural Committee resolution, only four of them were successfully accepted namely maintenance of fair use definition in relation to one copy made by person, to whom this single copy will be of service, limitation of the exception for common aerials to analogue broadcastings only, omission of proposed provision binding liberty of contract enter into a gratuitous license contract and provision facilitating the work of customs authority as regards abatement of terms. Other amendments including keeping the fair use only to works made public, deletion of new obligation of the rightholder to allow fair use, prohibition of development of circumvention devices, prohibition of camcording, omission of redundant provision concerning communication of the work to the public, cancellation of obligatory collective administration of the rental right and abolition of right holder's obligation to pay obligatory security of 100,000 CZK (approx. €3,580) to can ask for seizure of evidence weren't accepted. We still don't give up and will attempt to carry our remaining proposals during the hearing of the Bill in the Senate.


Report on legislative development


PRAGUE, 1.2.2005 - The amendment of the Act on the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography has been approved in the third reading on Wednesday February 1. The Bill that has been discussed several years without hearing big part of audiovisual industry - subjects with duty to contribute the Fund - has been approved in the House of Deputies in few days. It looks like deputies did not want to face displeasure of Czech film-makers in the evening of Czech Lion Awards' nominations and approved the Bill without reaching a compromise. Cinema theatres are obliged, accordingly the new law, to contribute 2% of box offices, DVD and VHS distributors 3% of their gross revenues and TV broadcasters 3% of advertisement revenues. Although CPU's amendment to decrease of contribution to 1% was adopted and presented in the second reading it did not approved. The law must to be approved by the Senate also to be effective. The lobbying group of film distributors, cinema theatres, video home distributors, several TV broadcasters and CPU tries to reach some changes of the law in the Senate.

Third reading of the Bill of the Copyright Act is planned to tomorrow, Wednesday February, 8. CPU has reached adoption of its nine amendments in the second reading including prohibition of camcording, cancellation of obligatory collective administration of the rental right and abolition of right holder's obligation to pay obligatory security of 100,000 CZK (approx. €3,580) to can ask for seizure of evidence. CPU has also presented its standpoint and recommendations to other presented amendments, e.g. dissent with cancellation of a government proposal to limit the exception for common aerials to analogue broadcastings only.


Copyright Act within the second reading


PRAGUE, 18.1.2005 - On Wednesday January 18th, the amendment of the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright, and on the Amendment of Certain Laws) will be discussed in the parliamentary Committee for science, education, culture, youth and physical training at last, because Committee has postponed its discussion from originally planned date of 11th November to this Wednesday. As we have written you few months ago and also in November report, in Czech Republic is particularly necessary to amend the Copyright law and implement Directive on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. In general we find the proposed amendment predominantly beneficial especially considering amendment of the Civil Procedural Code, enacting of administrative misdemeanors and improvement of the understandability of the Copyright Act to laymen. We nevertheless take it that number of provisions are at least unsuccessful and couldn't attain the aim based on the intention report and implement correctly European Copyright Law. Czech Anti-Piracy Union had already commented working paper of the amendment in the course of amendment preparation and initiated proposals discussed within the meeting which took place early April in the Ministry of Culture and subsequently commented final draft going to the first reading in early September. At present we are still trying to affect enactment within the second reading and assert our members rights. We sent the CPU's statement on the Bill, proposed amendments and detail explanation and substantiation to all members of the Committee. On Wednesday we are going to visit the hearing of Committee to see how things are going on.


2005


Czech Cinematography’s Acts still in controversy discussion


PRAGUE, 6.12.2005 - Discussion and controversy concerning the Act on the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography are still going on and unfortunately didn’t reach settlement yet. Attitude of Ministry of Culture is kind of rigid; they haven’t reflected comments of film distributors and professional bodies to the amendment to the Act on the State Fund up to now. The Bill is discussed in Cultural Committee of the House of Deputies now and although proposed obligation of cinema theatres, video home distributors and TV broadcasters to pay 3% of their gross revenues to the common Fund supporting national film production has awaked massive protests, proposers of the amendment do not tend to any compromise. Among others they want video home distributors to pay an obligatory tax from each and every taped cassette and disc containing audiovisual work regardless whether it is sell to final consumer or not. We are trying to change the attitude of legislators in a way of three variation of an act constituting an amendment to respective provision in cooperation with other members of our lobbying group and other changes of common parts of the Bill. In issue of tax from VHS and DVD our lobbying group firstly proposes complete abrogation of aforementioned provision, secondly we are lobbying for the tax would be paid by entrepreneurs of VHS and DVD stores and rental shops ergo casual users and thirdly and preferably the tax would not be paid from taped carriers but from blank mediums. Taxation of blank DVDs and videotapes could fairly reduce illegal copying and piracy in general. Consensus is still far away, but we are doing our best in cooperation with other involved corporations to do some lobbying job, call attention to negative impact to the film market and piracy and initiate some positive alterations of relevant legislation.


Copyright Act within the second reading


PRAGUE, 7.11.2005 - On Wednesday 9th the amendment of the Copyright Act (Act no. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright, and on the Amendment of Certain Laws) will be discussed in the parliamentary Committee for science, education, culture, youth and physical training. As we have written you few months ago, in Czech Republic is highly necessary to amend the Copyright law, above all implement Directive 2004/48/EC of European Parliament and of the Council on 29thApril 2004 on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. Czech Anti-Piracy Union had already commented working paper of the amendment in the course of amendment preparation and initiated proposals discussed within the meeting which took place early April in the Ministry of Culture and subsequently commented final draft going to the first reading in early September. At present we are trying to affect enactment within the second reading and assert our members rights. We sent the CPU’s statement on the Bill, proposed amendments and detail explanation and substantiation to all members of the Committee. We are also trying to meet the parliamentary correspondent of the Bill to lob at our amendments. In general we find the proposed amendment predominantly beneficial especially considering amendment of the Civil Procedural Code, enacting of administrative misdemeanors and improvement of the understandability of the Copyright Act to laymen. We nevertheless take it that number of provisions are at least unsuccessful and couldn’t attain the aim based on the intention report and implement correctly European Copyright Law. The attached enclosure contains summary of CPU’s main exceptions to the discussed Bill.


Comments on Copyright Act


PRAGUE, 12.7.2005 - In Czech Republic is of necessity to amend the Copyright law, above all implement European Copyright Directives, mainly Directive 2004/48/EC of European Parliament and of the Council on 29thApril 2004 on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights. Czech Anti-Piracy Union had already commented working paper of the amendment in the course of amendment preparation and initiated proposals discussed within the meeting which took place early April in the Ministry of Culture. Final draft was submitted for our comments in late June.

In general we find the proposed amendment quite successful and beneficial especially considering improvement of the understandability of the Copyright Act to laymen. We nevertheless feel that certain provisions should be changed or amended for fully attaining the aim based on the intention report and for correct implementation of European Copyright Law. For example our proposal for completion of section 6 conditioning so called lawful assumption of authorship should in our opinion have practical meaning for the purposes of enforcing the right and our amendment to section 41 should facilitate and make more effective negotiations in the interest of authors and right holders by Legal Entities authorized to represent the interest of their members. Regrettably we also consider certain provisions as absolutely unhelpful and undermining the present level of protection for copyrighted works, above all provisions of section 22 subsection 2 and section 23. First of aforementioned set up exemption clause for common house aerials, second one gives unjustifiably entrepreneur of accommodation services an advantage over radio and TV broadcasters, recording and audiovisual producers, performing artists and authors. We also consider very miserable and unsuccessful the way of implementation of appropriate provisions of Enforcement Directive conditioning scope of responsible persons and technical measures.


Anti-Piracy Act


PRAGUE, 1.6.2005 - On June 1, the Act on Protection of some Services in area of Radio and Television Broadcasting and Services of Information Society so called Anti-Piracy Act became effective. This Act bans whole illicit devices which give unauthorized access to protected services, nominally radio and television broadcasting and information society services much like providing conditional access to abovementioned services, if it’s provided as a service in its own right. Illicit device shall mean any equipment or software designed or adapted to give access to a protected service in an intelligible form without the authorization. Sub poena up to 2.000.000 or 500.000 Czech Crowns (€ 66.550 or €16.650) are prohibited by the law all of them for business purposes manufacture, import, distribution, sale, rental or possession of illicit devices, further installation, maintenance or replacement of an illicit device also all of them for business purposes and last but not least the promotion of illicit devices. By passing the Bill Czech Republic finally implemented European Directive 98/84/EC on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of, conditional access, but in our opinion roughly and not very well. Before now, in the course of legislative process Czech Anti-Piracy Union pointed out that proposed law is not quite in compliance with abovementioned Directive. T he greatest inadequacies we have found not only in considerable unintelligibility of the Act but mainly in incorrect implementation of term commercial purposes. Even most of obscurities have been cleared up, Czech Act prohibits with exception of the promotion, solely activities on business purposes and that definitely is much narrower sense than term commercial purposes demanded by the Directive within the meaning of direct or indirect financial gain. We also miss the implementation of Art. 5/2 of the Directive – the Czech Act has not give to a service provider the right of action for stopping of illicit activities and/or to apply for injunction or other preventive measures.


Amendments of Cinematography’s Acts


PRAGUE, 23.3.2005 - On March 23, the Chamber of Deputies discussed amendment of the Act on State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography and amendment of Audiovisual Act, both within the first reading. Neither one of the proposals is perceived positively by our member companies. The first one imposes great financial demands in form of obligatory taxes to support national film production by installing equal 3% tax on film industry, namely on home video distribution, theatrical turnover and TV advertising. These fees are designated to be source of the Czech Fund of Cinematography. The Bill among others establishes Council, whose 12 members are appointed by Government of Czech Republic on the proposal from Minister of Culture. This Council is the only one authorized to decide about grants to Czech film projects and regrettably no involuntary contributors and among them our member companies have right to influence it and possibility to share revenues. The second bill on the other hand means enormous administrative burden due to its complexity and unjustified quantity of compulsory filled datas.

Czech Anti-Piracy Union participates in wider efforts to do some lobbying job, call attention to negativ impact to the film market and piracy in general and initiate some positive alterations of relevant legislation. These efforts for instance seemed to be particularly successful, when the Czech Minister of Culture decided to withdraw and alter the bill on State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography, but unfortunately he didn’t hold his word in the end and introduced the bill to the Chamber of Deputies. Finally, there’s still hope, because it’s even a long process, than each bill becomes effective. First of all both proposals have to be discussed and approved by the Chamber of Deputies within the second and third reading, subsequently have to be passed by the Senate and the President and afterwards could come into a force.

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FURTHER INFORMATION


Anti-piracy campaign "Movies ain't for free" going on


CZECH REPUBLIC, 2.1.2007 - Anti-Piracy campaign named "Movies ain't for free", which has begun with introducing localized MPA anti-piracy trailers in cinemas, has already been successfully running for two months. The main aim is to inform the people and especially the young ones, that shooting a film costs a lot of money and the producers and other parties concerned couldn't work for free and further to educate the public to the respect for intellectual property rights and last but not least to explain them that copyright infringement is a crime. The respect for copyright and generally intellectual property rights is historically not of even high-level in Czech Republic and that is the first and fundamental thing needed to be changed.

Luckily the Czech media has assumed positive attitude to the campaign and has written about it often and in a positive way. Almost every day we have had some article in press or internet media. Directress of CPU took part in different radio or television discussions where she introduced the campaign and spoke about film piracy problems. The webpage of the campaign (www.filmynejsouzadarmo.cz) full of all relevant information and matters of interest has still decent attendance. To attract the attention and interest of the public we have also held different competitions either on our webpage or in cooperation with the media such as different magazines for teenagers or specialized web servers. To the nearest future we plan to continue with aforementioned PR activities and to distribute anti-camcording labels to the cinemas and to hold workshops and meetings on the topic of filmy piracy at schools and at universities.


Anti-piracy lecture at FAMUFEST


PRAGUE, 10.11.2006 - On Friday November 10th next lecture on the topic copyright and movie piracy took place within the students' film festival FAMUFEST. This festival is arranged on a yearly basis under the aegis of FAMU - Film and television faculty of Academy of artistic arts and organized by students themselves. Screenings take place in 3 cinemas in Prague and attract the attention especially of the students of film schools and young spectators. Productions are arranged into thematic sections such as music films, politic films, artistic films, experimental films, psychological films and so one. With respect to the fact that this film festival visit mainly future generation of film professionals and true film fans, Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with Aura-Pont (private agency representative different Czech and foreign authors and performers) conducted there a lecture and distribute the pamphlets as well as on the other film festivals.


Anti-Piracy Campaign "Movies ain't for Free"


PRAGUE, 16.10.2006 - On Monday October 16th Czech Anti-Piracy campaign named "Movies ain't for free" has been presented to the public on the afternoon press conference. Present journalists seem to be interested in the topic, so we hope for some positive publicity. Within the frame of Czech anti-piracy campaign, we will present MPA anti-piracy trailers, distribute anti-camcording labels and hold workshops and meetings at schools and at universities. Above all we would like to inform the folk especially young people, that shooting a film costs a lot of money and the producers and other parties concerned couldn't work for free and also to educate the public to respect for intellectual property rights and explain them that copyright infringement is a crime. Unfortunately the respect for copyright is historically not even high-level in Czech Republic and that is the first thing needed to be changed.


Summer Film School in Uherske Hradiste


UHERSKE HRADISTE, 31.7.2006 - Czech Anti-Piracy Union in cooperation with Aura-Pont (private agency representative different Czech and foreign authors and performers) conducted next in the series of lectures on the topic copyright and movie piracy at the 32nd Summer Film School in Uherske Hradiste (South Moravia). CPU's lecture on copyright and movie piracy with a special view to public performance took place in Reduta Big Hall and was attended by approx. 40 people. The audience was very interested in copyright and film piracy problems and had a lot of thematic questions and clever and interesting suggestions. CPU also has had a page in the official catalogue of Summer film schoul issued in 3000 pieces and as a usual distributed anti-piracy pamphlets informing about copyright and piracy in general. The pamphlets have been aimed mainly at young visitors because film piracy in Czech Republic is spread especially between the young generation.

The Summer Film School has taken place at the turn of July and August and has presented quantity of movies this once on the theme "Human being and the Nature". Screenings has taken place in 10 different places: cinemas, theatres, open-air in parks and in the squares. This thematic specialized film festival which became very popular especially among students and young people as well as professional public, originally came into existence as summer workshop for people who worked for Czechoslovak film clubs and as late as in 1993 was opened to the public. Summer Film School yearly hosts many guests especially from film industry but also from different branches and holds number of lectures and debates on various subject matters.


Copyright Protection Education of Children and Youth


PRAGUE, 3.7.2006 - For the next school year Czech Anti-Piracy Union prepares project aimed at copyright education of children and youth. CPU searches for this project partners among related companies protecting copyright such as IFPI, BSA and others, and considers also enlargement the campaign to Slovakia with co-operation of SAPU (Slovak Anti-Piracy Union). Within the project called "Copyright Protection Education of Children and Youth" basic information about copyright and its protection should become part of education at primary and secondary schools. The purpose of the project is to inform the youngest about the copyright, the infringement of copyright and its consequences, to prevent the piracy and warn the children and youth against pertinent criminal sanction which could negatively affect their further life. We would plan to prepare gadgets for teachers (instructional material, computer presentation supplementary teaching and instructional movie) and organize teachers training but also leaflets and brochures for kids summarizing the most important information. We also consider possibility to spread this project also for parents and distribute Parent File Scan program of MPAA in our local campaign. We believe the copyright education of children and youth to be almost fundamental because piracy and copyright infringement in general constantly grows mainly between the youngest.


Anti-piracy lecture at the International Film Festival for Children and Youth


ZLIN, 1.6.2006 - During May 28th and June 3rd 46th year of the International Film Festival for Children and Youth took place in Zlin (South Moravia). The festival is held every year and definitely belongs to one of the oldest events of its kind in the world. Screenings took place in 8 cinemas in Zlin and several satellite towns throughout the Zlin region and attract the attention especially of the youngest spectators. Significant part of the festival represents also so called The Zlin Dog - international competition of student films. During the week of Film Festival the city Zlin is full of the children and youth. With respect to the fact that film piracy in Czech Republic is more and more spread among still younger people not excepting pupils of basic schools, we decided to take this fine occasion to inform the kids about piracy in general, its types and its consequences. We distributed our pamphlets there and organized the lecture on the topic of copyright and piracy. The public participation wasn't quite high, but the audience had a great interest in copyright and film piracy problem and asked a lot of questions. If you are interested in the festival atmosphere please click here.


New Flea Market in Prague has come into existence


PRAGUE, 19.12.2005 - Close to the turf Velka Chuchle in the suburbs of Prague, where international horse-race take place, new weekend Flea market has come into existence. Our investigator went round at the weekend to check it, but no pirate DVDs were sold there. There were only few vendors and shoppers present. People probably don’t know about new market in the meantime and also the location of the market is not quite favorable. Say the market is situated in the suburbs and the traffic is not even easy. We would like to continuously control this market to prevent piracy from the beginning and we’ll inform you about the progress.


Training Seminar for Police Investigators


ORLIK, 8.11.2005 - On November 8th, annual training seminar for 95 police investigators from all Czech Republic took place in the training and recreational centre in Cervene close to the reservoir Orlik (South Bohemia). Directress of CPU Mrs. Marketa Prchalova lectured on questions of piracy in general with a view mainly to on-line motion picture piracy and peer to peer pirate networks which present constantly increasing threat in Czech Republic as well as worldwide. Participants of the aforementioned seminar were very interested in discussed problems and had a lot of completive questions. Policemen have highly appreciated explanation of the P2P problem and have asked informing materials and copies of the presentation for them and their colleagues. Few of them have already investigated such cases and others are expecting to do so. CPU is planning to prepare methodical guidelines for policemen to search for and investigate swapping piracy.


Lecture on Piracy at Cable operators’conference


NYMBRURK, 28.9.2005 - The CPU director accepted the invitation to the panel discussion at the Cable operators’ conference hold in Nymburk in the end of September. She used this occasion to inform 86 participants, representatives of both small and large cable operators from whole Czech Republic, about cable thefts and TV piracy. She explained the legal conditions to use broadcasting for transmission, performance and other uses, introduced recent law changes, cleared up often mistakes and misunderstandings and informed about consequences of copyright violations. The participants were deeply interested into the presented issues and asked the director a lot of questions.


Anti-piracy lecture at Summer Film School in Uherske Hradiste


UHERSKE HRADISTE, 28.7.2005 - Czech Anti-Piracy Union conducted a lecture on movie piracy and provided collateral anti-piracy activities at the 31st Summer Film School in Uherske Hradiste (South Moravia). The School took place last 10 days of July and presented 180 movies. Screenings took place in 9 different places not only in cinemas and theatres but also open-air in parks or in the square, this time on the topic of “Film Revolt”. This thematic specialized film festival originally came into existence as summer workshop for people who worked for Czechoslovak film clubs and as late as in 1993 was opened to the public. Since the time it became very popular especially among students and young people as well as professional public. Summer Film School hosts power of guests not only from film industry yearly and holds number of lectures and debates on various subject matters.

CPU’s lecture on movie piracy took place in Reduta Big Hall and was attended by approx. 150 both young and older people. Our talk had a great success and audience’s interest in copyright and film piracy problem was quite favorable. Participants had a lot of questions and interesting suggestions. CPU also has had a page in the official catalogue issued in 4,500 pieces (see CPU_katalog UH.pdf) and distributed anti-piracy pamphlets informing about piracy in general, its types and consequences among participants of festival. These pamphlets (Czech version is available at http://www.cpufilm.cz/letaky_zlin.html) have been focused mainly to young people as main visitors of the School because film piracy in Czech Republic is more and more spread among still younger people.


International Film Festival for Children and Youth


ZLIN, 4.6.2005 - During May 29th and June 4th International Film Festival for Children and Youth took place in Zlin (Youth Moravia). The festival is held every year and its 45th year ranks it among one of the oldest events of its kind in the world. Screenings took place in 8 cinemas in Zlin and several satellite towns throughout the Zlin region and attract the attention especially of the youngest spectators and spectatresses. Significant part of the festival represents also so called The Zlin Dog - international competition of student films. During the week of Film Festival the city Zlin is full of the children and youth. According to the organizers festival screening were visited by more than 36.000 spectators and supporting programme by 12.000 participants this year and total of 288 films from 38 countries were screened in the course of the festival.

With respect to the fact that film piracy in Czech Republic is more and more spread among still younger people not excepting pupils of basic schools, we decided to take this fine occasion to inform the kids about piracy in general, its types and consequences. Our pamphlets had a great success, because the young visitors gave them real indication. Therefore we are considering some workshops and talks on the topic of audiovisual piracy for the next year. For transmission of the festival atmosphere please visit our webpage: http://www.cpufilm.cz/fotky_zlin.html

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PRESS


Special sniffer dogs uncover forged CDs, DVDs in CzechRep


CTK Daily News, 4 November 2007, (c) 2007 CTK (Ceska Tiskova Kancelar). All rights reserved.

Prague, Nov 4 (CTK) - Many pirate copies of CDs and DVDs were uncovered at the Czech-German border area this weekend thanks to a brand new method - two sniffer dogs, specially trained in Northern Ireland, Lenka Heckova from the Czech Anti-Piracy Union informed CTK today.

Two Labrador Retriever bitches, trained in the centre for detecting explosives in Northern Ireland, are so far the only dogs able to detect CDs and DVDs.

They will stay in the Czech Republic only for a couple of days.

"They can help customs officers during checks at market places and airports," Heckova said.

Like in the case of explosives and drugs, these sniffer dogs are able to distinguish a special chemical substance used in the production of CDs and DVDs.

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