The RCMP’s Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Federal Enforcement Section has teamed up with the Toronto Police Service to investigate alleged Copyright Act infringement activities. The partnership, dubbed Project OSTINGER, has so far seen ten search warrants issued; all at businesses operating out of the Oriental Centre in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. Police have seized thousands of DVDs and have laid over 30 charges in the year-long operation.
Police and the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA) received a number of complaints concerning pirated movies being sold at the mall on a daily basis. Reports have said the pirated copies were being sold for $3 each, though the sale price for the genuine article should range from $20 to $30.
Inspector Todd Gilmore, Officer in Charge of the GTA Federal Enforcement Section said, “Piracy is a widespread problem, not only in the GTA and North America, but worldwide, especially during peak shopping periods such as seasonal holiday celebrations. Legitimate business and the Canadian economy are adversely impacted by this type of intellectual property crime.”
IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb stated, “Digital motion picture theft is endangering the livelihoods of workers in the creative industries – from cinematographers to carpenters to hair stylists. As a strong supporter of copyright protection, the IATSE is pleased to see law enforcement take the issue seriously.”
The IATSE is an International Union that represents members employed in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade show industries throughout the United States, its Territories, and Canada.