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Local Family Charged with Selling Counterfeit CDs and DVDs

A Kent, Wash. family was charged Jan. 27 in King County Superior Court after being arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit CDs and DVDs, the Seattle PI reported today.

Renton police alleged that married couple Jesus Perez-Vargas and Leticia Vargas-Garcia and their 18-year-old son were selling hundreds of CDs and DVDs that appeared to be pirated.

The PI said the defendants, who sold the goods out of a convenience store, weren’t trying too hard to pass off their product as genuine.

“One, a copy of the Liam Neeson thriller ‘Taken,’ carried an MA 15+ rating not used in the United States,” the article said. “A copy of a film identified only as ‘Rambo’ in court documents was housed in a hard plastic CD case.”

The defendants reportedly told the police they bought the CDs and DVDs from a traveling salesman who sold the goods out of his van. They reportedly paid $2 or $3 per disk and sold them for $4 to $7 each.

The defendants were charged with violating the Washington State prohibition against the “failure to disclose origin,” a Class B felony.

I wasn’t familiar with that statute, so I looked it up. It appears to be RCW 19.25.040(1).

Under that statute, “A person is guilty of failure to disclose the origin of a recording when, for commercial advantage or private financial gain, the person knowingly advertises, or offers for sale, resale, or rent, or sells or resells, or rents, leases, or lends, or possesses for any of these purposes, any recording which does not contain the true name and address of the manufacturer in a prominent place on the cover, jacket, or label of the recording.”

The statute defines “recording” as a “tangible medium on which sounds, images, or both are recorded or otherwise stored, including an original phonograph record, disc, tape, audio or video cassette, wire, film, or other medium now existing or developed later on which sounds, images, or both are or can be recorded or otherwise stored or a copy or reproduction that duplicates in whole or in part the original.”

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