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RIAA Uses US Police As Enforcers
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2003-10-31
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A new press release from the Big Five record labels' RIAA boasts of training and using US federal, state and local police officers as music industry cops.

The New York Police Department seized 125,000 counterfeit CD-Rs in the first six months of 2003 as, "a direct result of the RIAA's successful [police] training efforts," says the RIAA in a statement.

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It also emphasizes its atacks on flea markets saying, "The RIAA recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the owners of a Columbus, NJ flea market who flagrantly and repeatedly ignored numerous demands to curtail the sale of pirated CDs and cassettes."

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and its clones around the world are owned and funded by the music industry.

The RIAA says approximately 2.5 million "counterfeit or pirate CD-Rs, unauthorized recordings burned from a burner," were seized in the first six months of 2003, up 18.1% from almost 2.1 million seizures at mid-year 2002.

"As CD burners become more available, the prevalence of illegal product in the marketplace increases as well," says RIAA president Cary Sherman. "We've dedicated additional resources to the problem and the results speak for themselves. Those who choose to engage in this criminal activity should be aware that federal, state and local governments are also stepping up their enforcement efforts."

Sherman doesn't, however, say what efforts have been, or will be, directed at companies such as Sony, for instance.

Sony is one of the RIAA's owners and Sony Electronics has just announced a pair of multiformat DVD burners - the internal DRU-530A, due to ship in December for an estimated price of $270; and the DRX-530UL, an external drive which will begin shipping in January for an estimated price of $350.

"In the first six months of 2003, the RIAA's anti-piracy investigation unit successfully aided local and federal law enforcement officials across the country in efforts to crack down on music pirates selling counterfeit music product at flea markets, manufacturing and distribution plants, on street corners and online," says the statement.

"The RIAA continues to devote a significant share of resources to educating the law enforcement community, including prosecutors, about everything from how to detect counterfeit and pirate product to the effect that illegal copying, burning and distribution of copyrighted music has on the music industry.

"So far in 2003, the organization's educational efforts resulted in a greater number of jail time sentences for music pirates as well as an increase in the amount of compensation awarded to the recording industry for harm caused by this illegal activity."

The RIAA's Anti-Piracy Unit, "regularly provides training to police departments around the country," it states.


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