1/3 Of CDs Sold Globally Pirated

Chairman of the London-based International Federation of Phonographic Industries, IFPI, John Kennedy, right, talks with the President of Promusicae, an association of Spanish music producers, Antonio Guisasola during the presentation of the IFPI annual report in Madrid, Thursday, June 23, 2005.
One out of every three music discs sold in the world last year was pirated, with fake recordings outselling legal ones in 31 countries, an industry group said Thursday.

The bootleg industry is growing in Latin America, India, the Middle East and eastern Europe, although around the world some countries are cracking down on copyright theft by shutting down illegal recording facilities, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries said in its annual report.

Though a record number of bootleg discs were seized last year, pirated recordings still racked up $4.6 billion in sales, the group said.

The report did not address Internet piracy other than to say it is growing, especially in Asia. The IFPI has never attempted to quantify these industry losses because "it is just too complicated," said IFPI market research director Keith Jopling. However, last year London-based Informa Media Group estimated them at $2.1 billion a year.

The IFPI, also based in London, said it was releasing the report in Madrid because Spain is Europe's worst culprit when it comes to pirating music. In Spain, street vendors selling bootleg CDs and DVDs are common sights.

The federation named Spain and nine other countries as priorities: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia and Ukraine.

"The music industry fights piracy because if it did not, the music industry would quite simply not exist," IFPI Chairman John Kennedy wrote in the report.

The report called intellectual property "a jewel worth protecting," saying copyright industries account for 5 percent of gross domestic product in the U.S. and Europe. Piracy jeopardizes jobs, economic growth and innovation and saps tax revenue, the group said.

"It is no longer acceptable for governments and individuals to turn a blind eye or to regard piracy as merely a small irritation to society," Kennedy added.