Video Piracy Penalties Ramp Up in New York

Rhett Pardon
NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an ordinance on Tuesday that enhances video piracy from a violation with a $250 fine to a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail and penalties of up to $5,000.

The New York Police Department recently began cracking down on the distribution of pirated films. Police this year have seized more than 195,000 counterfeit DVDs, many of them adult videos.

Earlier this year, Dark Alley Media, Falcon Studios, Hot House Entertainment, Jet Set Productions, Pitbull Productions, Raging Stallion Studios and Titan Media were successful in winning a U.S. judge’s decision to raid two Manhattan retailers, Peep Show XXX and The Blue DVD Inc.

In that raid, thousands of pirated adult videos were seized by authorities.

Keith Webb, vice president of sales and marketing at Titan Media, hailed the ordinance signed Tuesday and told XBIZ that it may prove beneficial to the adult industry.

"Mayor Bloomberg's action clearly shows the value of intellectual property to the New York City economy,” Webb said. “Pirated DVDs steal money out of the pockets of producers and the economy as a whole. Stricter penalties for piracy benefit everyone in the adult industry."

Bloomberg said he had no remorse on signing the new law.

"We're going to keep the heat on the con artists, so that the real artists who make up our film industry can continue to thrive," Bloomberg said after signing the law.