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Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Music industry pushes EU for anti-piracy CD codes

The European Union must make an identity code for compact discs compulsory when it unveils a draft law aimed at combating piracy later this year, industry executives said on Tuesday. "What we are asking for is a little code. It's a very cheap way to fight piracy," said Yolanda Smits, international trade adviser at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)...

Smits was one of several representatives from music and film industry bodies speaking at a news conference in Brussels, where the European Commission (news - web sites) is expected to unveil its proposal for a law on piracy in early December.

But the demands fell on deaf ears at the Commission.

"If a record company or a film producer wants to insist that all plants pressing its CDs use this system then that's up to them," a Commission spokesman said.

Smits said many disc manufacturers in the EU already used the source identification code (SID), but the industry wanted the Commission to propose making them mandatory in the new law, as well as introducing an EU-wide agreement on punishments.

Piracy is a low risk, high profit business, she said.

"The chances of being found out are slim. And if you are found out you may just get a fine."

Frances Moore, IFPI's regional director for Europe, said a SID code, having been imprinted into the disc during production, enabled investigators to track down the origins of discs, exposing piracy and making forgery more difficult.

"It's not impossible but it's quite difficult. We can normally spot a fraudulent SID code," she said. "For us, this is pretty effective."

Piracy costs the industry more than one billion euros annually, according to Dara MacGreevy, a vice president of the Motion Picture Association.

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