Recording and software industries discuss the fight against piracy with Pakistani government
Karachi, Monday 28 July, 2003
Senior representatives of the international recording and business software industries met with Pakistani government ministers and senior officials at the end of last week to discuss the need for urgent action to tackle the country's rampant levels of CD piracy.
Pakistan now exports tens of millions of pirate CDs across the world. It is one of the largest sources of pirate discs and is in danger of becoming the next Russia.
Pirate discs manufactured in Pakistan have been found in more than 20 countries worldwide. Illegal CD production has doubled in the last two years and is now estimated at 140 million discs per year - over ten times legitimate demand in the country. The problem arises largely from weak laws, poor enforcement, inadequate penalties and the growing sophistication of Pakistan's organised criminal gangs.
The copyright industries' delegation in Pakistan was comprised of IFPI, BSA and RIAA representatives. They met with representatives of the Ministries of Interior, Commerce, Industry and Education, as well as the Federal Investigation Agency.
Joseph Papovich, Senior Vice President of the Recording Industry Association of America (affiliated with IFPI) said: "Pakistan is rapidly rising up the anti-piracy agenda for the international recording industry. This visit reflects the industry's growing concern both at the fast-increasing export of pirate discs and the very poor levels of enforcement within Pakistan."
Jawad Al-Redha, Co-Chairman for the Business Software Alliance (BSA) Middle East said: "Intellectual property is driving economies in the information age and needs to be valued and protected. However, piracy has become a threat to Pakistan's future in the information technology age. So, if Pakistan wants to take part in this new economy it needs to reduce its piracy rates, which are much higher than other developing countries."
IFPI and BSA spearhead the anti-piracy operations of the recording industry and the business software sector. IFPI investigators tracking the spread of piracy in Pakistan found that millions of pirate discs were exported from Pakistan in the first six months of the year.
The discs, carrying top international and local repertoire, were destined for countries in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.
Pakistan's authorities are urged to act to regulate the country's massive production overcapacity and to make wholesale improvements to anti-piracy enforcement.
Three top priorities are:
BSA, IFPI and RIAA stand ready to help the Pakistani Government in this endeavour.
Notes to Editors