A passenger carrying 3,800 pirate DVDs, including 1,400 copies of Men In Black II was intercepted at Johannesburg International airport over the weekend by South Africa's Federation against Copyright Theft, in its latest drive to stem the counterfeiting market which is costing the industry some $6.1m per year.
In just two days almost $200,000 (R2m) worth of product was seized. In addition to the weekend arrest, today (July 2), two passengers were caught trying to smuggle 3,400 pirate DVDs into the country. Titles included Spider-Man, The Shipping News, Heist (directed by David Marnet according to the sleeve), and Monster's Ball - all of which are currently on release theatrically.
"Ster Kinekor, Nu Metro and the major films studios, all of whom are members of SAFACT have had enough. We are now taking the strongest possible action against these opportunists who are killing the film industry," says Fred Potgieter, managing director of SAFACT.
The sale of counterfeit DVDs, video cassettes and video games is costing video rental companies an estimated $12.6m (R127m) a year. Potgieter says that about 35% of all DVDs in the country are pirated, equivalent to a loss of $6.1m (R61m) a year to video outlets.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Spider-Man has become the most pirated title of the year so far, according to the Federation against Copyright Theft.. To date, FACT has seized some 1,000 copies of the film, in various formats. FACT estimates that it intercepts approximately 3% of pirate copies of films, which would suggest that some 30,000 copies of Spider-Man have been sold illegally in the country so far.
In the first five months of this year, the UK's FACT have seized more than 39,000 pirated DVDs - up from just over 8,000 during the same period last year.