Kennedy and other members of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a recording industry trade group, are teaming up with a newly formed Russian organization to promote tougher enforcement of copyright and intellectual property laws. The new Russian group, the National Federation of Phonogram Producers, says it accounts for about 70 percent of Russia's recording industry.
Both groups said the first step is to close down the illegal CD factories.
Pirated CDs, as well as pirated videos, DVDs and computer software, are sold openly throughout Russia. The piracy business is so efficient that copies of new CDs and films often appear in Moscow kiosks at the same time or before they are available in the West.
The sheer volume of pirated music is stifling Russia's own fledgling recording industry, which doesn't earn enough revenue from legitimate CD sales to develop and market new artists, said Igor Pozhitkov from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's Russia office.