BPI demands action on pirate CDs

CD being put into a laptop
The BPI says greater resources are needed to tackle piracy
UK record companies have demanded stronger action on CD piracy, saying 37m pirated CDs were sold last year.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) says intellectual property crime should be "higher on the police's agenda".

A survey suggests CD piracy cost the industry £165m in lost revenue in 2005 - nearly 10% of total sales.

Car boot sales and markets accounted for over a third of pirated CDs, while a quarter were bought from friends, the survey found.

The survey found that 37 million pirated CDs were sold in the UK in 2005, the value of which was more than the combined legal sales of the leading 13 albums in the UK.

It is the first time the industry has estimated the projected losses caused by pirated CDs.

'Piecemeal' enforcement

Following the report - based on findings from research firm Ipsos - the BPI said trading standards officers should be granted the "duty, power and resources to tackle copyright offences".

While BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said the police and trading standards officers did a "superb job in difficult and dangerous circumstances", he said they were operating with "very limited resources".

Piracy has increased because enforcement has been "piecemeal", said Mr Jamieson.

BPI spokesman Matt Phillips also said owners of markets where counterfeits are sold should be prosecuted.

The BPI also wanted stricter financial punishment for counterfeiters because "damages do not have a sufficient deterrent effect in civil cases".

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