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Thursday, 10 May, 2001, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Rise in seized pirate CDs
CD-R Piracy
Nearly 1.7 million pirate CD-Rs were seized during 2000 - an increase of 79% on the previous year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The association, a music industry trade group, also reported that 633 CD-R burners had been seized in that year.

Those 633 CD-R burners had an estimated manufacturing capacity of more than 9.5 million counterfeit compact discs a year, which represented a potential loss of $150m (105m) in music industry revenue.

Despite what appears to be a resounding victory in the war against music piracy, it is not clear to industry observers whether the massive increase in seizures means it is defeating the racket.

Music Shop
Music stores could be under threat if CD piracy continues
"It totally reminds me of the war on drugs,'' said Lee Black, from entertainment research firm Webnoize.

"Don't think you're going to stop it as long as there's demand and money to be made.''

The RIAA insists its efforts against piracy are having a positive effect.

For example, its Operation Clean Streets effort began in April 2000 and in the following eight months it has made more than 1,000 piracy arrests and confiscated 600,000 CD-Rs.

More than 10,000 web sites received warning notices from the RIAA for potential copyright violations in 2000, under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

New law

This is a four-fold increase on the previous year.

"These numbers speak well of the resources we have dedicated to the internet," said RIAA senior VP and director of anti-piracy Frank Creighton.

"Unfortunately, they are also indicative of the many ways that people are misusing technology to pirate music."

Webnoize's Lee Black believes the RIAA's liberal application of the new Digital Millennium Copyright Act will be under close scrutiny in the next few months, when the relatively new and controversial law is put to the test in the courtrooms.

"The RIAA is looking to position itself as the piracy czar for the industry,'' Black said. "But until [the law] is tested, there is no real precedent in saying what's against the law and what's not."

See also:

03 Aug 00 | South Asia
Indian music piracy crackdown
01 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Record makers lock music away
22 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Music piracy 'threatens industry'
17 Jan 01 | Sci/Tech
A tax on music tracks
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Corrs lobby Europe over net piracy
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