CD Mastering plant faces damages costs for pirate activity
UAE Court imposes damages bill of US$250,000
London, 3rd May 2006
A firm that manufactured a master disc used to produce more than 100,000 pirate copies has been ordered to pay US$250,000 in damages to the recording industry.
Planet Optical Disc Ltd, a mastering firm based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was ordered to pay the damages after a court decided it was liable for the production of all the compact discs originating from the master copy. The Dubai Court of First Instance heard the master disc was used to produce 111,000 counterfeit compact discs featuring compilation of songs from a range of artists.
The case had been brought by record companies including Universal International Music, Interscope Records, Zomba Records, BMG Middle East, Sony Music Entertainment, WEA International and EMI Records. They will share the damages granted by the Dubai court.
The defendants were also ordered to pay all court costs and expenses.
"Mastering firms must carefully check all material that they are mastering and ensure that their customer is properly licensed by the content owner" says Lauri Rechardt, Director of Litigation at IFPI, which represents the music industry worldwide.
"This judgement shows that mastering firms cannot just turn a blind eye and that their responsibility does not end when the stamper leaves the factory door. A CD mastering plant can be held liable for the damage caused by all the illegal copies made from that stamper. In many cases that could be hundreds of thousands of illegal copies, which would mean an even bigger damages bill than this one."