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Sunday, January 21, 2001
Watch out for CD pirates, record industry warned

"...The music industry's chief watchdog on Sunday warned record companies that in the worldwide fight against CD pirates "we are still in the heat of battle." From Russia to Paraguay, pop pirates are producing more than 500 million CDs a year and costing the industry up to $5 billion. Huge profits have attracted organized crime. Pirate CDs account for one in five records sold around the world.

"Piracy is still an incredibly difficult problem to deal with. Piracy has become global. This is not just a group of guys in a garage trying to make a buck with a few decks. There are enormous pirate exports around the world. The production capacity is staggering and organized crime is playing a growing role. Pirate production has topped 500 million. The value is $4-5 billion. There is no indication it is declining.

Piracy is a mobile phenomenon. Once we began to disrupt the supply line between Asia and Paraguay that was servicing Brazil, we found the pirates ended up putting in two covert plants in Paraguay. One had been disassembled from Hong Kong. In Britain what turned out to be the largest credit card fraud ring was a Russian Mafia operation that started with pirated CDs" said Jay Berman, music's global crime buster who heads the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)..."

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