Cracking down on the real pirates

While I’m the first person to bitch and moan about digital rights management, over-the-top attacks on file sharing and so on, there’s no doubt that real, physical piracy is a huge problem for the record industry – and it’s something I fully agree should be prosecuted, as the pirates are making money from unauthorised copying.

I’ve just received a BPI press release that makes interesting reading, based on raids carried out in Stirling and Falkirk at 28 private addresses and two markets. The items seized included:

3992 music CDs: Ready-made illegal music CDs, including counterfeits (fake copies of chart albums, such as 2004 best-selling albums from Keane, Dido and Snow Patrol), pirates (unauthorised single compilations and greatest hits albums), bootlegs (illegal recordings of live concerts) and MP3 CDs (illegal compilations containing as much as 10 albums per disc. Tracks are compressed and these are often used by counterfeiters as masters and sold for use on computers and MP3 players.)

2979 film videos and DVDs – including the bestselling Christmas titles such as Shrek 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with new pre-release films such as The Incredibles and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. The pre-release titles in particular are attractive with counterfeiters owing to the high prices the pirates can command on titles that are often as yet unreleased in UK cinemas.