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Cheap discs being imported

Cheap discs being imported

Hot on the heels of a big pirate CD bust in the eastern United States comes the news that probable counterfeit discs are still pouring into New Zealand.

More than 75,000 "impossibly cheap" DVDs and music CDs were imported in January.

According to a Reuters report today, officials believe 70,000 pirated CDs a week were coming out of a New York city house in the suburb of Queens.

The discs being imported in to New Zealand are from "territories that have a history of being those areas where counterfeits are made," according to the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).

RIANZ chief executive Terence O'Neill-Joyce says the price per unit justifies the view that the imports infringe copyright. He says he has the figures from the Department of Statistics to back his case.

"The price of these optical discs averages out at less than a dollar when the landed price of a CD is normally up around $15 or more," Mr O'Neill-Joyce says.

"How can the owners of the intellectual property be making anything when the price is that low? The composers, performers and producers are simply missing out on being paid for the things they have created and that's not fair."

Mr O'Neill-Joyce says all fair-minded Kiwis would understand that ripping off someone else's creativity is simply not on. He asked New Zealanders to think twice when they saw cheap CDs available in markets and "on the street".

"Who do you think's winning out of this trade. It's certainly not the artists or composers or producers of those works. What return do Peter Jackson and New Zealand for that matter get from a counterfeit DVD? Zilch."

Mr O'Neill-Joyce says he is pleased to see the American police acting in such a positive manner.

"Unfortunately, sometimes it's only when people understand what they are doing is illegal and that there are serious consequences if they get caught that they realise there is a reason copyright exists."

About BRN>BRNT The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand is campaigning to protect the livelihoods of people in the music industry by educating the public about the copyright law in New Zealand. The campaign is titled BRN>BRNT and involves an advertising, poster, sticker and PR campaign to raise awareness of a problem that is estimated to cost the country $95 million a year.

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