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Entertainment Software Industry Applauds RCMP Anti-piracy Action Against Pacific Mall Piracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
David Gollom     
ESAC       
(416) 368-8348 or dgollom@highroad.com    

Stacey Wade
ESA
(202) 223-2400 or swade@theesa.com

Toronto (July 17, 2006) – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) joined today in applauding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP) July 13th enforcement action against retail outlets offering pirated and counterfeit entertainment software for sale at Pacific Mall in Markham, Ontario.  During the operation, the RCMP raided three stores in Pacific Mall, seized thousands of copies of pirated game software, and arrested one person implicated in the counterfeiting operation.

“The continuing focus on Pacific Mall as a venue for the sale of illegal computer and video game software is an important enforcement objective of the entertainment software industry in Canada,” said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA, the trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of RCMP in pursuing game piracy in this problem area.”

Pacific Mall has been a high-traffic venue for the sale and purchase of counterfeit products, including illegal entertainment software, for some time.  In April 2005, RCMP undertook enforcement actions against a number of Pacific Mall outlets.  The July 13th enforcement action underscores the fact that, despite the previous enforcement actions, large amounts of pirated game product continued to be sold at Pacific Mall, thereby undermining the ability of legitimate game retailers to do business.

The ESA and its members have had an active industry enforcement program in Canada since 2004.  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.

ESAC members, who publish and distribute video games in Canada, are looking to the continuing efforts of the RCMP and other Canadian law enforcement agencies to reduce the level of game piracy in order to protect the many businesses that form part of the local entertainment software industry.

“Game piracy in Canada has harmed the retailers of authentic game software in Canada,” said Danielle Labossiere Parr, Executive Director of ESAC.  “We are grateful that the RCMP continues to target this criminal activity.  However, as the Pacific Mall outlets were raided just over one year ago with little deterrent effect on the targets hit last week, it is clear that the severity of the penalties imposed in this case needs to be increased to include the imposition of a prison sentence in order to deter any future sales of pirate game software by Pacific Mall outlets and others engaged in the pirate trade.”

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada is the association exclusively dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies in Canada that publish and distribute video and computer games for video game consoles, personal computers, and the Internet.

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 $7 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2005, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software.  For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.

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