Music industry says pirated CDs make everyone suffer.
The Recording Industry 2005 Commercial Piracy Report, prepared by the
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), paints a
stark picture when it comes to global pirating of music compact discs.
According to the report, illegal traffic in pirated music was worth
$4.6 billion last year, 34% of all CDs are illegal, and fake
recordings outsell legitimate recordings in 31 countries around the
The report takes the position, not surprisingly, that this "mass-scale
copyright theft" is damaging the livelihoods and wellbeing of musical
artists and hundreds of thousands of persons employed legitimately in
the music industry. The report states that the music industry is a
"risky business" and that the industry must protect its intellectual
property, otherwise "the music industry quite simply would not exist."
In addition the harm to the music industry itself resulting from
pirated CDs, the report points out that governments and citizens are
hurt too, as "lost industry revenues mean lost tax revenues in the
hundreds of millions of dollars."
The report details a list of the top ten priority countries that have
markets that have "unacceptable piracy rates that urgently require
addressing." These countries are: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia,
Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Spain and Ukraine.
Thus, while there has been quite a public debate about online
downloading and file-sharing of music, culminating in the recent
Grokster decision by the United States Supreme Court, the report makes
plain the the pirating of tangible, physical CDs also is an issue to
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris
(www.duanemorris.com), where he focuses on litigation matters of
various types, including information technology disputes. His column
appears Wednesdays at USATODAY.com. His Web site is www.sinrodlaw.com,
and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly
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