Computer Crime Research Center


Pirates: $1bn losses only to the US

Date: April 27, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: CCRC staff

More than 1 million of pirated disks were seized during a raid in Moscow several days ago. This crackdown was not the first and not the last, though there were no results. Specialists are confident that it is pointless to carry on fight against illegal counterfeit audio and video industry while the price of licensed copies remains the same. Licensed goods cost 6-7 times more rather than their pirated copies.

According to press service chief of the Moscow Department on Fighting Economic Crimes Philipp Zolotnitski, several hundreds of criminal cases related to production and distribution of the pirated goods are filed in Moscow annually. 17 of illegal manufacturers were liquidated, more than 2 thousand of violations related to production and sale of audio and video production were fixed, nearly 10 million of cds and 3 million of videotapes were seized by police in pirates' workshops in 2004, he added.

According to estimates, the prevented damage equals 181 million of Russian rubles ($6.5m), though the sum of caused losses is way too higher - 410 million ($14.8m).

The counterfeit turnover in Russia is estimated at 80-100 billion of Russian rubles ($2.89-$3.61bn) annually. As a result, the Federal budget loses 30 billion of rubles ($1.08bn) yearly.

Last year, the Guild on development of audio video trade conducted the monitoring of retail outlets selling compact disks and tapes. 940 trading objects were visually investigated. As it appeared, only 215 of them offered licensed goods, while 455 outlets sold both counterfeit and legal merchandise and 270 sales outlets offered only pirated goods.

Pirates create not only internal problems. Western countries repeatedly claimed that Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization will depend on the progress in securing intellectual property rights. Russian illicit manufacturers cause damage of 1 billion dollars only to the US. However, Russian bureaucracy still admits weakness in fight against pirates and sets hopes upon further repressive measures.

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