Online pirate DVDs store busted

Hong Kong Customs staff say they have smashed an online store selling pirate DVDs.

In a raid on Monday they seized some 3100 suspected pirate optical discs and arrested a man thought to be behind the business.

Customs officials say the website was registered in the US while the server was hosted in Hong Kong. The suspected pirated optical discs sold by the online shop were priced and transacted in New Taiwan Dollars. The online shop appeared to be targeting Taiwanese customers but in fact was aimed at Chinese communities worldwide.

Customs earlier received information alleging that a large amount of suspected pirated optical discs of television dramas and movies were sold at a low price at the online shop.

“After in-depth investigations, Customs officers suspected that the online shop was operated by a 38-year-old man. After having received a certain quantity of orders, the shop would pack the suspected optical discs at the storage location in Kwun Tong for delivery to customers,” Customs said in a statement.

Most of the optical discs seized were believed to be for supply to local customers while the rest were bound for overseas. The online shop pretended to be a Taiwanese one, with pricing and transactions completed in New Taiwan Dollars in an attempt to evade Customs investigation.

“Customs will continue to strengthen enforcement action against online piracy activities. Under the Copyright Ordinance, a person commits an offence if he possesses an infringing copy for commercial purposes,” the statement said.

The maximum penalty is imprisonment for four years and a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy. Customs urged members of the public to respect intellectual property rights and not to take part in illegal activities.

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