- Posted by Johanna on May 24, 2006 at 10:20 am
- Category: Comic News
… the police had the RIAA agents in the hall at the opening bell on Friday accompanied by undercover police (just plainclothes cops). They bought videos from several vendors offering videos, took notes, and got their warrants and such. Then, they came back on Friday afternoon, and made their arrests…. They arrested every violator — one guy lost 3200+ DVDs, one lost 6. They arrested guys who had as much as 100% of their inventory found to be pirated stuff, and they arrested a guy who had about $500K in comics on his table, and 12 used videos from his personal collection, of which 6 were pirated discs (which he had bought, viewed, and decided to resell). There were no exceptions — if you had ONE pirated disc (DVD or Music CD) you got busted.
As I had over 500 DVDs on my tables, and I am pretty sure who the undercover cop was (he had been in my booth for over 30 minutes literally looking at nearly EVERY DVD) I also got interviewed by the police about my discs once the raid was underway. I was found to have no bootlegged discs.
That dealer also has tips on avoiding future problems:
As always, I found that complete cooperation with the police paid off. The police said they would have to open up every DVD I had on the table, to insure none were pirated discs — I said go ahead. They said they would need to inspect my vehicle in the lot. I informed them we had two vehicles in the lot, one we drove up as the big carrier, and one for driving back and forth to the hotel and that they had my permission to inspect both. Satisfied, they didn’t open one DVD, and didn’t inspect either vehicle….
I can say that the RIAA has really opened my eyes to some things – for example, they do NOT inspect discs of TV shows, evidently their interest, or the law, excludes those. They DO inspect CD music recordings. Also, talking to several vendors, the “smart” (their term) ones do not put out their pirated stuff until Saturday. The RIAA does not do inspections on Saturday (again, from what some of the vendors said) so the careful vendors put out only legit stuff on weekdays, then load up their pirated stuff on Saturday…. On Saturday, most of the dealers I spoke to were very scared — talking about never doing it again. By Sunday, the two I talked to again had found what they felt were loopholes (dealing only in porn and TV shows, which the RIAA does not regulate) and planned to concentrate on those areas and not do movies.