Roff made counterfeit discs by top int'l acts.

The IFPI announced today (March 29) that it has reached an out-of-court settlement with Russian optical disc plant Roff Technologies in its yearlong case over illegal CD manufacturing.

The IFPI filed compensation claims against Roff in March 2004 in the civil Moscow City Arbitration Court for a total of 40 million roubles ($1.4 million).

Roff operates a plant on the outskirts of Moscow. The IFPI and eight of its member companies alleged that the plant was being used to manufacture counterfeit discs by major international artists, including Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and U2. The IFPI coordinated the court action on behalf of its member companies.

Roff has admitted to infringing neighbouring rights. Details of the financial agreement have not been disclosed, but an IFPI statement describes the settlement as "substantial."

London-based IFPI director of licensing and litigation Lauri Rechardt says the settlement should be seen as "a warning to CD plants in Russia and elsewhere who fail to take the necessary safeguards against copyright infringements."

Cooperation with Russian authorities has been a priority for the IFPI in its fight against counterfeiters. Rechardt calls for urgent action from the government to complement IFPI's civil actions. "That means proper CD plant regulation, effective enforcement and deterrent penalties against pirates," he says. "Civil lawsuits alone will not solve Russia's chronic piracy problem."