Pirated “Room Service” CDs flood Russian market

ST. PETERSBURG – In Russia, a lot of pirated “Room Service” albums have been made. In this city, for example, it is almost impossible to find a real album with the booklet and photos inside. One reason for this is that a pirated CD costs only $3 while the real licensed one costs more than $20. Many, if not most shops here sell the cheap pirate CDs. Indeed, one could say that the Russian Mafia owns the Russian music industry.

As much as 95 percent of all music sold in Russia is illegal, said Eric Schwartz of the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which represents copyright holders. “There’s a whole lot of money to be made on them, and nobody’s giving them any good reason to stop,” Schwartz said. He said the main reason pirates do so well is because of Russia’s lax law-enforcement procedures.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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April 13th, 2001

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