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33% of all CDs said to be bootlegs

Illegal sales reach $4.6b in 2004, despite crackdown

MADRID -- One out of every three music discs sold in the world last year was pirated, with fake recordings outselling legal ones in 31 countries, an industry group said yesterday.

The bootleg industry is growing in Latin America, India, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, although some countries are cracking down on copyright theft by shutting down illegal recording facilities, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries said in its annual report.

Though a record number of bootleg discs were seized last year, pirated recordings still racked up $4.6 billion in sales, the group said.

The report did not address Internet piracy other than to say it is growing, especially in Asia. The IFPI has never attempted to quantify these industry losses because ''it is just too complicated," said IFPI market research director Keith Jopling. However, last year London-based Informa Media Group estimated them at $2.1 billion a year.

The IFPI, also based in London, said it was releasing the report in Madrid because Spain is Europe's worst culprit when it comes to pirating music. In Spain, street vendors selling bootleg CDs and DVDs are common sights.

The federation named Spain and nine other countries as priorities: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, and Ukraine.

''The music industry fights piracy because if it did not, the music industry would quite simply not exist," IFPI chairman John Kennedy wrote in the report.

The report called intellectual property ''a jewel worth protecting," saying copyright industries account for 5 percent of gross domestic product in the United States and Europe. Piracy jeopardizes jobs, economic growth, and innovation, and saps tax revenue, the group said.

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