Monday, March 21, 2005

Russian DVD Piracy Interview

From a Pravda interview on DVD counterfeiting with a dealer in DVD piracy:

On profits:
Selling pirated CDs and DVDs is probably the second most profitable business on the black market at the moment. Only the drug dealers make more money then we do. You can do your own math while I will give you a few facts and figures. The production costs are very low. A kilo of plastic costs $4. This quantity is enough for pressing 120 CDs. [...] Besides, the majority of illegally duplicated products on today"s market are manufactured by the same plants that make perfectly licensed copies at "daytime". I know for sure that at least two of such plants are up and running in St. Petersburg. They kind of work "around the clock" putting out lots of stuff. So the quality of an illegal copy equals that of an licensed product since both are manufactured using the same equipment.
On payoffs:
You can even get back two-thirds of your stuff that was confiscated if you pay [the authorities] an extra. Various police departments are supposed to combat the sale of pirated CDs and DVDs in Veliky Novgorod. Every time they would launch their "surprise" raids on the retail market, as a rule they do it once a year at the end of summer, we would be fully prepared to see them. A maximum fee for selling counterfeit products at retail is 4,000 rubles. My personal experience shows that the amount of fee can be subject to negotiation. Your punishment can be reduced to a warning if you are smart enough to offer some latest flick to an inspector you are dealing with.


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