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28 Pirates Arrested in Downtown Police Raids

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Photo by Andres Rueda via Flickr

Last week, the LAPD arrested 28 people at downtown businesses and seized 200,000 pirated or counterfeited DVD's, CD's and other apparel equaling up to $2.76 million in street value.

"People who make counterfeit goods are stealing, plain and simple, it's the same as picking someone's pocket or shoplifting," City Councilwoman and Anti-Piracy Task Force Chair Wendy Greuel said today in a statement. "We lose more than 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars to our economy each year because of these crimes. During these difficult economic times, we can't afford to lose a single job or a single dollar. Every dollar lost to piracy represents wages lost for hardworking Angelenos."

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A report released earlier this year by the LA County Economic Development Corporation stated that piracy cost businesses $5.2 billion in revenue in 2005. Additionally, they said the illegal activity costs $4.4 billion in lost wages annually.

But it's not just the local economy that piracy hurts, it increases gang crime, according to City Attorney Rocky Delgadilo. "Counterfeiters and pirates are often involved in other, more dangerous illicit activities--like gang crime," he said. "Effectively fighting gangs means cutting off every source of their revenues, including counterfeiting and piracy. When we fight piracy, we fight gangs."

All this is much better news than the RIAA hunting down college students at USC.