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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 28, 2001
IRMA commission initiates antipiracy compliance program

"...Twenty-seven international companies have signed an "Anti-Piracy Covenant" as part of an Antipiracy Compliance Program initiated by the Optical Media Manufacturers Association (OMMA) to combat worldwide piracy and protect Intellectual Property rights. The Covenant was announced at REPLItech in February by Charles Van Horn, president of the International Recording Media Association (IRMA) of which the OMMA is an active coalition. IRMA already offers an anti-piracy certification program for manufacturers of CDs and DVDs. Thus far, 10 plants have been certified and 29 other plants have enrolled in the program.

When signing OMMA's covenant, companies agree to voluntary standards that include:
- Adherence to national and international laws concerning piracy and intellectual property rights;
- Cooperation with legal authorities and recognized industry associations in their fight against piracy;
- Protection and promotion Intellectual Property rights awareness;
- Delivering only products and/or services to verifiable customers;
- Implementing anti-piracy procedures and controls as integral parts of their business processes; and
- Promoting and supporting the importance of Source Identification Codes (SIC).

This new initiative parallels anti-piracy campaigns by other industry associations and is thought by many to be sorely needed in the software industry, which loses as much as $12 billion annually, worldwide. Music industry losses are reportedly $300 million /year in the U.S. and $4.5 million in foreign markets, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). (These figures are calculated by assessing each pirated copy as a lost sale, and multiplying said lost sales by approximate per-unit retail pricing.) In a relatively new arena for content theft, industry executives estimate that 270,000 films are downloaded off the Internet each day, a rate that is expected to rise to 3 million by 2002..."



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