RIAA snares more pirated CDs in 2003

Efforts against Latin music products saw strongest growth

HOLLYWOOD — The number of counterfeit CDs seized by the RIAA soared over 200% last year, while illegal recordable CDs, or CD-R discs, stayed roughly even at about 5 million and counterfeit tape seizures declined as piracy continues to go digital.

Org reported total figures for anti-piracy efforts in 2003 and said that efforts against Latin music products experienced the strongest growth, with a 40% jump in seized products.

Overall, the number of counterfeit CD seizures reached 785,314, while 5,109,926 recordable CDs with pirated content were seized. Number of bootlegs seized by the RIAA was negligible compared to the millions of counterfeits that directly replicated legitimate content.

Number of searches by law enforcement related to RIAA anti-piracy activities grew by nearly 50% from 2002 to 1,367, but the number of arrests was down 18% to 3,904 and guilty pleas or convictions plummeted over 63% to 1,250.

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