Sony Computer Entertainment America Announces Destruction of Counterfeit PlayStation Software

Sony Computer Entertainment America and Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) Take A Stand Against Counterfeit Gaming Products

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 7, 1998--Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today, in conjunction with the IDSA and U.S. Customs Service officials, the destruction of nearly 40,000 counterfeit PlayStation(R) software discs seized in Miami, Florida.

A U.S. Customs Service inspection discovered two shipments of the counterfeit PlayStation software en route from Taiwan and Singapore. The shipments, with a retail value of more than $1.5 million, were destined for Paraguay, a major outlet for counterfeit videogames in Latin America.

Sony Computer Entertainment America officials flew to Miami to observe U.S. Customs inspectors destroying the counterfeit discs, which will then be recycled by GreenDisk. The counterfeit software seized was comprised of forty-four different first and third party PlayStation software titles, including such hits as Parappa The Rapper(tm), Rally Cross(tm) and NBA Shoot Out 98(tm).

"We applaud the diligent work of the U.S. Customs Service who has demonstrated tremendous success in both identifying counterfeit PlayStation software and thwarting the efforts of counterfeiters," said Kaz Hirai, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "With the assistance of the U.S. Customs Service and the IDSA, we aim to protect the entire gaming industry, particularly the first and third-party software developers. Counterfeiters cast a shadow over the entire industry by making it difficult for software developers and manufacturers to benefit from the hard work that goes into creating quality, cutting-edge games."

According to the IDSA, U.S. videogame and PC game companies lost more than $3 billion worldwide in 1997 to pirates who copied and distributed games without permission, not including losses caused by Internet piracy.

"U.S. Customs is a key line of defense in the fight to prevent pirate software entering the United States from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe," said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the Interactive Digital Software Association, the U.S. trade body representing the $5.6 billion U.S. video and PC games industry. "As our industry battles international piracy, we rely heavily upon customs officials around the world to seize pirated goods. The Miami Customs office has struck a blow against the international game pirate network and helps our industry send a message that the United States is committed to protecting intellectual property rights of game software companies."

As the videogame demographic continues to expand making interactive entertainment a mass-market entertainment option similar to television, music or movies, the fight against production and sale of counterfeit video game products will remain a significant focus for industry leaders.

Sony Computer Entertainment America, a division of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., markets and distributes the PlayStation game console in North America, develops and publishes software for the PlayStation game console, and manages the U.S. third party licensing program. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.