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Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 00:29 GMT 01:29 UK
Indian music piracy crackdown

By the BBC's Karen Hoggan

Indian record company bosses have got together with counterparts from the UK to tackle the growing incidence of pirated Asian music.

The Asian music market is worth $600m worldwide and is expected to grow to as much as $2bn dollars by 2005, with a quarter of sales coming from outside the Indian subcontinent.

However, the piracy problem is so severe, about 40% of all Asian music sold in the UK is believed to be counterfeit.

Significant seizures

Recently the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) appointed an investigator to tackle the problem, and anti-piracy director David Martin is already hailing the move a success, with significant seizures made.


If we can stop this product from getting onto the streets, we can go a long way towards trying to control the problem

David Martin, BPI
"We're working very very closely with Her Majesty's Customs and Excise service who are profiling shipments from the subcontinent," said Mr Martin.

The Indian Music Industry Association (IMI) is also taking steps to stamp out piracy which is depriving it, and its artists and writers, of income.

In India pirated music accounts for 40% of the market - soaring to nearly 60% for a particularly successful hit.

Hologram scheme

The IMI says it is also planning to introduce a new scheme to help consumers identify the counterfeits.

"What we are trying is we are getting into the hologram process and we have now designed an IMI hologram which all the music companies in India are going to use", says IMI director Vijay Lazarus.

"Experience in Latin American countries has been that piracy goes down by around 15 - 20% once you bring in the hologram," he added.

Indian music bosses plan to visit the US and South Africa next, where Asian music is also popular and vulnerable to piracy.

The message will be the same - that they are determined to eradicate the problem.

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