The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says that its anti-piracy efforts in the first half of the year led to record numbers for seizures, arrests, and convictions, Billboard Bulletin re

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says that its anti-piracy efforts in the first half of the year led to record numbers for seizures, arrests, and convictions, Billboard Bulletin reports. The trade group assisted in seizing 1.26 million illegal recordable CDs (CD-Rs) in the first six months of 2001, up 133% from the first half of 2000. It also aided in 1,762 arrests and indictments for selling illegal CDs or CD-Rs, an 89% increase.

Online anti-piracy efforts also were stepped up in the first half, as 8,716 online auctions offering illicit recordings were removed from Web sites, a 418% increase from mid-year 2000. However, the number of notices sent to Internet service providers about infringing sites was down from the same period last year. An RIAA statement notes that rather than indicating a decline in online piracy, this statistic "reflects a consumer migration to centralized and decentralized file-sharing services."

RIAA senior VP/director of anti-piracy Frank Creighton attributes the results to the collaborative anti-piracy efforts of law-enforcement agencies and industry communities. "We have increased our solicitation of law enforcement, prosecutors, legislators, the retail community, and consumers to assist us in our fight against piracy," he says in a statement. "We recognize that in order to keep up with the expanding CD-R piracy problem, we need to work hand-in-hand with those charged with enforcing intellectual-property laws and those hurt most by sound-recording piracy."

In related news, one man was arrested and more than 1,300 bootleg CDs and CD-R copies were seized following a raid Saturday in Chelmsford, England, coordinated by Essex trading standards and police officers and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). According to the BPI, the illicit items, discovered at the Shire Hall Record Fair, were priced at #6-#12 ($8.87-$17.75) apiece. The man was released on bail pending further inquiries.

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