Street sales of pirated music CDs, software and DVDs are declining in Moscow, anti-piracy officials indicated Nov. 16. But the fall is due to a rise in illegal downloads via increased broadband access


MOSCOW (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Street sales of pirated music CDs, software and DVDs are declining in Moscow, anti-piracy officials indicated Nov. 16. But the fall is due to a rise in illegal downloads via increased broadband access rather than a change in attitude to piracy, they noted.

Officials from the Russian capital's commission on information market security said that street sales of music and software CDs have halved from about $5 million during the course of 2005.

"Sales of illegal discs have dropped by as much as 50% as a result of the growth in broadband Internet access, which offers free access to programs, music and videos," Yuri Zlobin, of anti-piracy association Russkii Shchit (Russian Shield), told business daily Kommersant.

Konstantin Zemchenkov, head of the Motion Picture Assn.-backed Russian Anti-Piracy Assn., said that Internet piracy was a growing threat in Russia.

"The Internet problem is coming; RAPO already has two experts working full time on this and we shall be paying more attention to this in the future," Zemchenkov said in an interview.

Zemchenkov added that the Moscow branch of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries has recently started court proceedings in Russia as part of a worldwide campaign against Internet music piracy.