In the latest crackdown on music piracy in Russia, the IFPI has begun civil proceedings for the first time against an optical disc plant in the country.

In the latest crackdown on music piracy in Russia, the IFPI has begun civil proceedings for the first time against an optical disc plant in the country.

EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music, BMG and other companies have launched seven claims against Russobit-Soft in Moscow, for damages totalling 40 million rubles ($1.37 million).

The plant is alleged to have manufactured counterfeit CDs by such artists as Destiny's Child, Enrique Iglesias, Macy Gray and Michael Jackson. The record companies are seeking an injunction on future manufacture of the titles and the confiscation of machinery and equipment used to produce them.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 5.

The IFPI says it intends to file additional civil suits in the next few months against other CD plants in the Russian Federation.

Since 2000, the number of CD plants in Russia has more than doubled, and production capacity has nearly tripled. Russian-originated pirate CDs have been found in 26 countries.