Law Enforcement Raids Ontario’s Pacific Mall
Industry Commends Action Protecting Video Game Artists and Developers
TORONTO, Ontario – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Entertainment Software Association Canada (ESAC) today commended the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and York Police Service for the October 29 raids on retailers selling pirated and counterfeit entertainment software at the Pacific Mall in Markham, Ontario.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this legal action and thank the RCMP and York Police Service for their efforts in protecting the video game business in Canada,” said Danielle Parr, executive director of the ESAC, the industry association that represents computer and video game publishers and distributors in Canada. “Game piracy is a serious problem that costs the entertainment software industry millions of dollars each year. Law enforcement raids against notorious pirate retailers like those in Pacific Mall send a clear message that trafficking in pirated game products is illegal and will not be tolerated.”
The raids mark the end of a two-month investigation, led by the Toronto North Federal Enforcement Section (RCMP) “O” Division, into pirate activities at one of the largest indoor shopping malls in North America. RCMP agents, with the assistance of York Police officers, executed warrants against two retail outlets in Pacific Mall, two automobiles (each linked with one of the retail targets), and the residence of the owner/operator of one of the raided outlets. During the raids on these targets, RCMP seized counterfeit manufacturing equipment, in addition to counterfeit video games, including computer hard drives and a multi DVD burner, as well as nine firearms and arrested a total of three individuals.
“Piracy hurts the creative artists and innovation that generates real jobs in this tough economy,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “The ESA applauds the efforts of the RCMP and York Police Service to combat game piracy in Canada. The ESA will continue to provide full support to authorities around the world who conduct necessary enforcement actions.”
Since 2004, ESAC has supported ESA’s industry enforcement program targeting game software piracy in Canada. Working with local counsel and investigators, the ESA identifies instances of pirate activity involving game software and supports the efforts of Canadian law enforcement to address such illegal activity.
The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. The ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers including a global anti-piracy program, owning the E3 Expo, business and consumer research, federal and state government relations, First Amendment and intellectual property protection efforts. For more information, please visit www.theESA.com.
The ESAC is dedicated exclusively to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies in Canada that publish and distribute computer and video games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers and the Internet. ESAC provides its members with business and consumer research, government relations and a global anti-piracy program. ESAC members include Canada’s leading interactive entertainment software publishers and distributors, which collectively accounted for more than 90 percent of the $2.2 billion in entertainment software and hardware sales in the nation in 2008. The entertainment software industry currently includes 247 firms and 14,000 direct jobs and thousands more in related fields across Canada. For more information, please visit www.theESA.ca.
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