Police in São Paolo, Brazil conducted a raid today on four locations used to manufacture counterfeit CDs and DVDs. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the MPAA, which supported the police action, over 30,000 pirated CDs and DVDs were seized, along with 200 burners.
The raids came as part of an investigation into counterfeiting rings in metropolitan São Paolo, and more arrests are expected in the days to come.
Counterfeit DVDs along with music and software CDs are commonplace in developing nations, due in no small part to the relatively high prices of legal versions of the media there. The movie studios seem to be well aware of this problem, although they are conflicted as to what their long-term strategy to combat it should be.
Large-scale piracy of music, movies, and software is a well-founded concern for content creators, and offering support to law enforcement types are a better use of their time and money than filing lawsuits against individual file-sharers around the world. Two movie studios have realized that the only way to fight the massive number of pirates in these countries is to compete with them, and have therefore made efforts to offer extremely low-priced DVDs of theatrical releases in China. Time Warner offers DVDs for about $1.25 apiece and Fox sells theirs on the street for about $3 per disc. Microsoft also offers a no-frills, inexpensive version of Windows in some countries, giving the company a shot at a revenue stream that they had previously missed out on completely. It's a lesson the content creation industries should take note of.