Year-on-year confiscations up 40%.

The music industry's efforts to tackle Latin music piracy are paying off.

The RIAA today (May 11) released its physical-goods piracy roundup for 2003, revealing that its new beefed-up initiatives resulted in a 40% increase in seizures of counterfeit Latin product, compared to 2002.

Piracy is a "disproportionate problem for the Latin music genre," says Brad Buckles, executive VP/director of anti-piracy at the RIAA.

Overall seizures of counterfeit and pirate CD-Rs again topped 5 million units in 2003. The RIAA's Anti-Piracy Unit made a sizable dent, seizing 1.4 million pirated Latin-music recordings.

"We are working with law enforcement to bring down major piracy kingpins producing counterfeit product, and targeting areas where this music is especially rampant -- flea markets, retail outlets and on the street," says Buckles.

Last year, the RIAA dedicated $2.5 million in funds toward fighting Latin-music piracy in the United States. The organization estimates between 30%-40% of all Latin music sold in the United States is counterfeit.