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Monday, March 03, 2003
CD market sags, piracy faulted

Shipments of music CDs dropped 8.9% last year vs. 6.4% in 2001, according to the RIAA 's 2002 year-end statistics compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers Llp.

Additionally, shipments of all music formats decreased 11.2% last year, compared with a year-earlier 10.3%. Total value of sales for 2002 was $12.6 billion, an 8.2% drop compared with 2001, and the lowest total since 1997. Total retail units were down 7.8%, while total retail value was down 6.8%.

"A major cause of the decline in 2002 includes the ongoing problem of online and physical music piracy," RIAA chairman and CEO Hilary Rosen said. "As we have seen piracy rise, we are responding aggressively online and have dramatically upped the activities of our antipiracy unit, increasing our seizures of counterfeit and pirate CDRs by 89.5% in 2002."

As a result of the downturn, the RIAA is implementing new antipiracy strategies, including educational programs for consumers. The trade organization will also continue to work closely with law enforcement officials to prevent physical piracy, specifically targeting flea market owners, street vendors and some retail outlets.

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