Police seizures of counterfeit recordable compact discs (CD-Rs) surpassed 1.2 million in the U.S. during the first half of 2001, skyrocketing 133% from the same period a year earlier, according to stats released by the Recording Industry Assn. of America on Monday.
The RIAA said its anti-piracy unit also assisted in executing search warrants at 72 bogus distribution locations and 34 manufacturing centers, resulting in seizures of 604 CD-R burners during the period — roughly the same number picked up in all of 2000.
The first half of this year also saw an 89% increase in arrests related to music counterfeiting, with the total swelling to 1,762.
Beefed-up education and training efforts for consumers and labels, vigorous government lobbying by RIAA topper Hilary Rosen and increased cooperation with federal and regional law enforcement groups contributed to the upswing, the association said.
“We recognize that in order to keep up with the expanding CD-R piracy problem, we need to work hand in hand with those charged with enforcing intellectual property laws and those hurt most by sound recording piracy,” said RIAA anti-piracy czar Frank Creighton.
It’s far more difficult to determine whether the increase in seizures and arrests accompanied a corresponding jump in the amount of illegal merchandise that made it to market. The RIAA has not been able to accurately estimate the number of pirated discs that slip into the marketplace.
The trade org also increased its efforts at shutting down piracy in cyberspace. In addition to its continuing legal onslaught against Napster, Aimster and several Webcasters, the org succeeded in pulling down more than 8,700 online auctions of music that it deemed illegal — a fourfold increase over last year.