The IFPI announced today (March 11) that it has stepped up its actions against optical disc manufacturers in Russia it claims are producing pirated materials.

The IFPI announced today (March 11) that it has stepped up its actions against optical disc manufacturers in Russia it claims are producing pirated materials.

The move is part of an ongoing campaign by the IFPI. The body has filed compensation claims for a total of 40 million roubles ($1.4 million) against Moscow-based disc manufacturer Roff Technologies. The action is in the civil Moscow City Arbitration Court.

The IFPI, which is coordinating the claims on behalf of its member companies, alleges that the plant manufactured counterfeit discs by international artists such as Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen, Daft Punk, David Bowie, Justin Timberlake and U2.

The court is also being asked to rule that Roff Technologies halt further production of the titles alleged to have been illegally manufactured, and to confiscate the machinery and equipment used to produce them.

Roff executives could not be reached for comment, but the company claims on its Web site that it carries out its activities "in accordance with Russian and international laws on intellectual property, copyright and allied rights protection." Roff says it cooperates with the IFPI, the Russian Authors Society and the Russian Anti-Pirate Organization. It also claims that all discs it produces conform to international Source Identification code requirements.

A preliminary procedural hearing for one of the eight claims was held in Moscow City Arbitration Court on March 3, and proceedings are continuing. Another claim is set for a March 15 hearing. The remaining six claims are being held up in the Moscow City Appeal Court on a procedural point.

Chairman/CEO Jay Berman says the IFPI is "committed to an ongoing campaign to address the growing threat from plants in Russia that are manufacturing infringing product that appears on the international market."

The IFPI announced in late 2003 that it was targeting plants in Russia suspected of producing pirated discs. The body in December filed seven civil claims in Moscow against disc manufacturer Russobit-Soft, which is denying the allegations. The case is pending.

The IFPI plans to file further similar claims against other CD plants in the Russian Federation. The body claims that exports of Russian pirated CDs have been traced to at least 26 countries worldwide.

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