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Burn CDs And You’ll Get Burned!

New Zealand music makers and the industry are getting tough on compact disc piracy.

In a campaign titled Burn and Get Burnt, the New Zealand music industry and local artists today announced they are combining to stamp out illegal CD duplication.

Musicians and record companies say piracy is rampant and could be costing the industry up to $95 million a year.

They also say piracy has a direct effect on the income of artists and in particular those who can least afford it, younger musicians starting out on their careers.

“We’re saying CD piracy is illegal and it’s rife in our own backyard,” said industry spokesperson Michael Glading, president of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.

“We are drawing attention to the problem. And we are saying to those who are doing it, we will take action to exercise the law if you continue to steal from musicians.”

Musicians agree it is a big problem and something needs to be done. Local legend Dave Dobbyn says the latest technology has had a huge impact on the way we treat our music.

“If this practice continues – ripping off musician’s copyrighted work – I don’t know if the young artists will get the breaks in a few years’ time,” Dobbyn says.

“Investment in New Zealand music has been going through a growth phase and this has only been possible by the infrastructure in place to support it. If burning continues to gain momentum, young artists won’t have the opportunities we had.”

While musicians and the record companies admit it is hard to quantify the seriousness of the problem, international figures reflect the global position.

Terence O’Neill-Joyce from the Recording Industry Association says figures released by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries in London suggest one in every two CDs is a copy.

“Recorded music is a $190 million industry in New Zealand – that means there’s a pirated CD black market possibly as high as $95 million.

“The GST on that alone is nearly $10 million and the artist’s losses would also be millions of dollars.”

So who’s pirating CDs in New Zealand?

Just about everyone but with a predominance of teenagers and young adults, Michael Glading says.

“Because everyone’s doing it, there’s the perception it’s OK. We’re saying it’s not OK and it’s hurting those who can least afford it.

“Ask your kids what goes on at school or when they’re otherwise away from home. They’ll tell you about the very latest releases selling for $10 at school.

“And the market is growing so fast, prices are now dropping to $5 – or so my 12 year old tells me.

“Not only are the CDs being sold at schools, we understand kids are also using computer equipment at their schools to pirate music.”

Mr Glading says CD piracy knows no socio-economic boundaries.

“It’s simply too easy nowadays. Digital technology has come a long way – you can make exact copies without loss of quality and produce hundreds of CDs an hour

“A blank CD sells for around $2 and all you need is access to a $3,000 computer and you’re in business.

“Anecdotal evidence also tells us people aren’t even buying the CDs they’re copying. They shop for a CD, take it home, pirate it and then return it to the shop for a money-back guarantee or to swap for another.”

Mr O’Neill-Joyce backs the assertion.

“There is a kiosk in Auckland’s Newmarket where you put a legal CD in the left hand tray, the target blank CD in the right hand tray, deposit $5 and it duplicates the original CD for you,” Mr O’Neill-Joyce said.

“And it’s right across the road from a Sounds record shop!”

The Burn and Get Burnt campaign is supported by all New Zealand record companies and some of the country’s foremost musicians including Dave Dobbyn and Neil Finn, Ché Fu, Stellar*, Fur Patrol and many more.

Advertising and PR activities are targeted at CD buyers through the media and where CDs are bought. A campaign logo has been developed and it will be used extensively in and on CD cases, on point of sale material and on music company advertising and vouchers.

The campaign is also sponsoring hip-hop singer/songwriter Ché Fu’s upcoming national tour and is sending a direct mail letter to school principals informing them of the problem.

Mr Glading says the immediate goal of the campaign is to raise the issue and educate consumers that copying music CDs is illegal.

“It is a three month programme in which we will inform people who pirate CDs about the consequences of their actions. After three months we plan to take action against those who persist in stealing from New Zealand musicians and record companies.

“You can rest assured. Burn and you’ll get burnt.”


Issued for the New Zealand Music Industry and Musicians by Pead PR

Michael Glading, Sony Music, Tel: 0-9-979 5328
Terence O’Neill-Joyce, RIANZ, Tel: 0-9-308 0510
Deborah Pead, Pead PR, Tel: 0-9-918 5550

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