Victory for record industry in Russian illegal CD production case
London, 13th July 2006
The recorded music industry announces a significant victory today in its offensive against CD plants in Russia that have been producing unauthorised optical discs for export all over the world.
The Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region ruled that Russobit-Soft, a Moscow-based optical disc plant, had manufactured counterfeit CDs by artists including Depeche Mode, Destiny's Child, Enrique Iglesias, Macy Gray, Michael Jackson, Radiohead, Whitney Houston and Westlife. The company has been ordered to pay four million roubles (US$148,000) in statutory damages.
Russobit-Soft will also have to pay compensation for costs, including state duties and experts' fees in full as well as a substantial proportion of IFPI's attorney's fees. The court also issued an injunction preventing Russobit-Soft from manufacturing any of the 30 albums involved in the case.
IFPI, representing more than 1,400 major and independent record companies in over 70 countries, had filed eight claims in December 2003 against Russobit-Soft on behalf of Arista Records Inc, BMG UK & Ireland Limited, CJSC Universal Music (Russia), EMI Music International Services Limited, Mute Records Limited, LLC Sony Music Entertainment (Russia), Sanctuary Records Group Limited and Warner Music Austria GesmbH. The court found for the industry in all eight cases.
Russia has the largest pirate music market in the world after China and is the source of illegal discs that have been seized in no fewer than 27 countries around the world. The country has 56 active optical disc plants and mastering facilities that can make almost 700 million discs per year - a figure that dwarfs legitimate demand in a country where official figures show just 58 million legal music CDs were sold in 2004.
CD piracy has flourished in Russia due to weak copyright legislation and inadequate enforcement. IFPI has urged the Russian authorities to mount a sustained campaign against the industrial scale piracy that is undermining its domestic music industry and harming major international markets.
Geoff Taylor, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of IFPI said: "This case illustrates IFPI's continuing commitment to take on CD plants in Russia that try to profit from piracy and to make them pay for their actions.
But the Russian government needs to do much more to enforce against illegal optical disc production in Russia, which is spiralling out of control. It must also update Russian laws and procedures so that where copyright owners take civil action; they are able to obtain an injunction and damages that properly reflect the scale of their losses, within a reasonable timeframe."
+44 (0) 20 7878 7935 or +44 (0) 20 7878 7939 Notes to editors: IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises over 1,400 major and independent companies in more than 70 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 48 countries. IFPI's mission is to fight music piracy; promote fair market access and good copyright laws; help develop the legal conditions and the technologies for the recording industry to prosper in the digital era; and to promote the value of music.