Who uses DVDs anymore? Apparently enough people for counterfeiters to still find selling fake DVDs to be a profitable business.
A federal grand jury recently indicted 10 men on charges of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, as well as similar crimes, after a warehouse and office space used by the defendants were found to have contained thousands of copies of fake DVDs and CDs on March 13. The men were found to have been allegedly trafficking counterfeit labels, documentation and packaging, and could end up paying significant fines, or even serving out prison sentences.
The men were found to be distributing the DVDs and CDs to people in Modesto, Turlock, Atwater and Stockton, cutting into various companies' profits. The counterfeited products included movie titles that have yet to receive theatrical release, and thus aren't anywhere close to being available for DVD release. Not only do movie and music distributors face competition, both legal and illegal, from online streaming services, the counterfeit production of physical goods is still an issue for these corners of the entertainment industry.
Counterfeit physical goods remain an issue in the entertainment industry.
The California operation wasn't the only recent case of counterfeiting CDs and DVDs. Several other distribution rings have been caught selling knock-off physical copies of movies and music recently. Counterfeiting rings selling fake DVDs were also recently discovered in Missouri and Hawaii. Yakov Meir Chazanow was sentenced in Honolulu earlier this year after it was determined that he had sold over 30,000 pirated DVDs containing copyright-infringed Asian action movies with counterfeit labeling and packaging. Chazanow was alleged to have manufactured the fake products, and then provided them to co-conspirators to sell both in stores and online.
Determining product authenticity is still important, even for goods that people don't use as often as they once did, because counterfeiters can find opportunity in nearly any product that people still buy.
Branddy Spence is OpSec's Director of Corporate Communications. Prior to her current role, she spent several years implementing successful brand protection programs for many well-known licensing and entertainment brands.