Published Jul 11, 2014Despite album sales taking a dip in recent years, that hasn't stopped certain individuals from pressing up illegitimate copies in efforts to make an easy buck. Case in point, German police recently seized a large amount of bootleg CDs, DVDs and LPs during a raid on what's being called one of the largest illegal pressing plants in Europe.
It's unclear exactly when the bust went down, but Billboard reports that CID Aschaffenburg and Würzburg, Germany's state prosecutor raided properties in Aschaffenburg and Hessen, uncovering a "significant" amount of bootlegged goods. An investigation had been conducted for two years against an individual believed to have run the large-scale unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted material.
"Thanks to the excellent preparatory work and above all the precise work of the prosecutor and police, this raid has enabled us to pull the plug on the largest-ever undercover pressing plant for music records in Europe," Florian Drücke, CEO of Bundesverband Musikindustrie, had said in a statement. "The equipment found here demonstrates once again that this is not the work of petty criminals, but of professional organizations whose criminal activities inflict massive damage on artists and the recording industry."
It had been reported earlier this year that the German market has been purchasing more CDs than the rest of Europe, with Berlin's Federal Association of Music Industry (BVMI) having reported that CDs comprise two-thirds of all music sales. Sales had also gone up 1.2 percent in 2013, following a 15-year decline.
London's International Federation of the Phonographic Industry had also been part of the investigations, with the organization adding post-bust that while digital piracy is a big issue these days, the music industry is still taking a big hit from bootlegs.
"While digital piracy makes the headlines, this case clearly shows that the industry also continues to take action against those who illegally make money through the manufacture, distribution and sale of unlicensed physical media," IFPI director of anti-piracy Jeremy Banks reiterated in a statement.