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CONTACT: Dan Hewitt – dhewitt@theESA.com or 202-223-2400
ESA Applauds Protecting Legitimate Computer and Video Games
Washington, D.C. – 3/17/08 – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) commended the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) and the Agencia Federal de Investigacion (AFI) for their recent raids of four facilities involved in burning pirate copies of video games in the notorious Tepito area in Mexico City. Working with local representatives of the ESA, over 500 law enforcement officers raided the four pirate game duplication facilities and three other storage locations, seizing roughly 290 DVD/CD burners, 28,800 illegal copies of video games and more than 900,000 video game cover inserts.
"Mexico is an important market for ESA members due to the enormous popularity of entertainment software,” said Ric Hirsch, senior vice president for Intellectual Property Enforcement at the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Unfortunately, Mexico also has an alarmingly high rate of game software piracy that by our estimates reaches 88%. We are very grateful for the efforts of PGR, its Specialized Unit on Investigation of Crimes Committed against Industrial Property and Copyrights (UEIDDAPI), the prosecutors that were assigned to this case, and AFI in attacking the sources of pirate video games circulating in Mexico City markets, as such enforcement actions are the best way to reduce high levels of game piracy.”
The Tepito market is one of the most popular shopping areas in Mexico City and is a local center of black market activity, including the manufacture and sale of pirated computer and video games. ESA and its local counsel have been investigating pirate game traffickers in Tepito for several months. The raids and seizures highlight the ready availability of pirated entertainment software product, making it extremely difficult for legitimate game retailers to earn a profit.
The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $9.5 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2007, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.