Illegitimate CD tally for felony charge reduced.

The Public Safety Committee of the California State Senate today (June 14) approved a bill proposing an important reduction in the number of illegitimate CDs required for a music pirate to be charged with a felony.

AB 64, sponsored by Assembly member Rebecca Cohn (D-Saratoga), would lower the felony threshold from the current 1,000 units to 100 units; the same threshold that exists under current law for illegitimate movie copies.

The bill, which has already been approved unanimously by the State Assembly, will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"Lowering the felony threshold to 100 units will be of tremendous help to law enforcement in prosecuting and convicting these music thieves for a crime that directly hurts the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers in music and related industries," said Brad Buckles, executive of anti-piracy for the Recording Industry Association of America. "With high-speed duplication technology now available to replenish inventory, the current law makes it all too easy for these thieves to stay in business."