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EC asked to intensify fight against piracy

BRUSSELS — The European music industry called on the European Commission Tuesday to be more aggressive in fighting record piracy worth $ 427 million in 1992, 14% of all sales in Western Europe.

The Intl.

Federation of the Phonographic Industry is considering complaining to the commission about China and Poland from which a great deal of counterfeit and pirated goods such as compact discs came, said IFPI secretary general Nick Garnett.

“China is developing the capacity to destroy world compact disc sales,” Garnett told a press conference, adding that it was able to make up to 75 million discs in 25 plants. In Poland, pirate sales of CDs represented 78% of total sales in 1992.

European Union association agreements with third countries should be accompanied by serious commitments by such countries as Poland, Russia and China to eradicate record piracy, Sir Colin Southgate, chairman of Britain’s Thorn EMI , told the IFPI conference.

“It’s simply unacceptable to establish ‘normal’ trading relations with countries that steal intellectual property,” he said.

Negotiations with Indonesia in 1988, following a complaint by the federation to dismantle pirate plants and resale networks, was cited as an example of a successful solution, Garnett said.

Southgate also criticized the EU for neglecting the interests of the music industry in the Uruguay Round world-trade negotiations to the benefit of the audiovisual lobby.

“The music industry just got forgotten (in the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade talks) and we were too slow at picking that up,” he said.

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