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Music Biz Files Piracy Suits Vs. 18 Retailers

The Recording Industry Assn. of America, the trade group of the major U.S. record labels, said Monday it has filed suit against 18 retail businesses for selling pirated CDs.

The lawsuits, which were filed last month in Texas, Florida and New York, mark the latest move by the recording industry to combat piracy and declining record sales.

The businesses subject to the litigation include gas stations, convenience stores, grocery markets and small music stores that the RIAA claims “were trying to make a quick buck by selling pirated music on the side.”

The RIAA began sending legal notices to many of these outlets in December. While many of the retailers found to be trafficking pirated CDs agreed to terms, 18 did not.

“We appreciate that these are tough economic times for many small businesses, but selling pirated music on the side cannot be the answer,” RIAA president Cary Sherman said. “We made every effort to reach out to these businesses in an attempt to resolve these claims only to be greeted by complete silence. The utter unresponsiveness of these retailers left us with no choice but to file these lawsuits.”

The National Association of Recording Merchandisers applauded the RIAA’s efforts.

The retailers in question could not be reached for comment by press time.

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