CD Bootlegging Soars

Music Industry, CD Roms, Money AP / CBS

Production of pirated recordings of music increased by 14 percent last year and now account for a third of all CDs sold around the globe, an industry group reported Thursday.

The estimated value of pirated recordings last year reached $4.6 billion, and included some 1.1 billion CDs, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, representing 1,500 record companies in 70 countries.

IFPI President Jay Berman said the group would focus its enforcement efforts on 10 major producers of pirated recordings: Brazil, China, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine.

"Our industry invests substantial resources in fighting piracy, but our self-help strategies critically depend on help from governments," Berman said.

Some 50 million pirated discs were seized last year, compared to 13 million the previous year. All but 15 percent of those discs were seized in southeast Asia, the group said.

The IFPI employs 250 investigators and analysts, largely ex-law enforcement personnel including former U.S. FBI and Russian KGB officers.

IFPI said its successes last year included major seizures in Mexico and the dismantling of a major piracy ring in the Philippines. It reported dismantling 71 CD production lines, up from 42 in 2001.

"This report should be a wake-up call to governments on the massive damage that music piracy is causing to their economies, their cultures and their international reputations," said Tim Bowen, chairman of Britain's BMG Records.

"Some of the world's most exciting potential music markets are fighting for survival because of government inertia in response to rising levels of piracy," Bowen said.
  • Lloyd Vries

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