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Offline Piracy Jumps 25 Percent

While the music industry responded aggressively to curb the spread of piracy on the Internet, the number of pirated music discs sold worldwide soared last year.

A report released today by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said that even as music industry worked to curb the spread of piracy on the Internet, the number of pirated music discs sold worldwide soared by 25 percent last year. The report, dubbed “IFPI Music Piracy Report 2001,” goes on to say that a total of 1.8 billion pirate recordings (CDs and cassettes) were estimated to be sold in 2000, meaning that one in every three recordings sold worldwide is an illegal copy.

Pirate sales of CDs and CD-R music discs rose from 510 million units in 1999 to an estimated 640 million units in 2000. The increase was driven largely by a proliferation of low-cost illegal CD-R copying operations that caused piracy rates to rise in many key music markets. Pirate CD-R sales alone worldwide nearly tripled last year to 165 million units and currently account more than a quarter of all disc piracy.

The IFPI said that the global pirate music business was worth an estimated $4.2 billion in 2000-up by $100 million on the previous year.

Launching IFPI Music Piracy Report 2001 Jay Berman, IFPI chairman and chief executive said, “Piracy is rising alarmingly in our established markets, and the two main reasons for that are the proliferation of new, cheap technologies for illegal commercial copying, and inadequate enforcement by governments.

Rupert Perry, Senior Vice-President of EMI Recorded Music and Chairman of IFPI’s European Regional Board, said, “The music business invests billions of dollars in new artists. We cannot compete with pirates who do not assume any of that risk and who do not compensate the artists who have created the music in the first place. That is why fighting piracy, both in the physical world and on the Internet, remains a top priority for our industry.”

The IFPI report points to China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Italy as the top five countries in its priority list in terms of domestic piracy. Countries in South East Asia and Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine, top the list of manufacturers and exporters of pirate product.

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