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June 20, 2006 > Authorities seize 20,000 DVD recorders from California company

Authorities seize 20,000 DVD recorders from California company

FREMONT, California (AP), Jun 14 - Authorities armed with a search warrant hauled away 20,000 DVD recorders from a company accused of manufacturing them without paying licensing fees, authorities said.

The June 8 raid at Fremont-based Cyberhome USA, a U.S. affiliate of Cyberhome Taiwan, was prompted by a complaint from Philips Electronics, which claims Cyberhome continued making the machines after it stopped paying licensing fees of $2 (euro1.60) to $5.25 (euro4.20) per unit, Santa Clara County prosecutor James Sibley said Tuesday.

Philips claims Cyberhome owes it $22 million (euro17.5 million). Companies such as Dolby and Sony were also affected, Sibley said.

Calls to Cyberhome for comment on Wednesday were not answered.

No arrests were made, though the possession or sale of more than 1,000 counterfeit units is punishable under California law by a prison sentence of up to three years and fines to $500,000 (euro398,000).

A five-county computer crime task force and FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents executed the search warrant. It took eight tractor-trailer trucks to haul away the players.

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