Spain tops pirate music list of shame

23rd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 July 2004, LONDON — Spain is among the worst offenders for pirating music, it was reported Friday.

23 July 2004

LONDON — Spain is among the worst offenders for pirating music, it was reported Friday.

More than 1 billion pirated music albums were sold worldwide in 2003, bringing in an estimated USD 4.5 billion, a report said.

Spain, Brazil Mexico and Paraguay were the four worst offenders singled out by the International Federation of the Phonograph Industry (IFPI) report.

The report said though the trade in illegally copied CDs slowed down thanks to increased law enforcement efforts, the number of pirated DVDs and CD-ROMs reached an unprecedented high.

While as recently as 2000, only one in five records sold was a pirated copy, "a record 35 percent of all music discs sold worldwide in 2003 were illegal copies," IFPI chief Jay Berman said.

"This illegal trade is funding organized crime, fuelling widespread corruption and costing governments hundreds of millions of dollars in lost taxes.

"It is destroying artistic careers and music cultures, and robbing countries with high piracy rates of billions of dollars of investment they would otherwise enjoy," he said.

The report is aimed at calling on all governments to combat piracy and to highlight the importance of intellectual property and copyright, he said.

The case of Spain was of particular concern, according to Berman, due to its great musical creativity and lack of police action against illegal sales by peddlers.

Spain ranks 7th in the IFPI's list of "priority" nations, behind Brazil, China, Mexico, Paraguay, Pakistan and Russia, and ahead of Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine.

"In terms of pirate sales value, the list is topped by China, with the largest pirate market (worth just under USD 600 million) and Russia, home to a USD 330 million pirate market and a massive international exporter of pirate CDs to some 30 countries," the report said.

Though Spain does not export DVDs, CDs or CD-ROMs, and the large majority of pirated copies - 20 million in 2003 - are sold locally, the business is run by organized crime rings that fund immigrants to distribute their pirated products.

A videotape of a recent raid in Madrid in which nearly 30,000 pirated albums were seized and 19 Chinese immigrants were arrested was aired during the presentation of the IFPI report.

Though 2,800 people were arrested in Spain in 2003 for producing or distributing pirated copies of audio and audiovisual recordings, the government's efforts to stamp out this illegal practice continues to be insufficient, Berman said.

Spain must toughen its laws and speed up the trials of copyright offenders, the IFPI chief said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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