Aussie Retailers Targeted For Counterfeit CDs

The Australian Record Industry Assn. (ARIA) has served cease-and-desist notices on 20 budget retailers and independent music stores for stocking counterfeit Top 40 CDs.

SYDNEY -- The Australian Record Industry Assn. (ARIA) has served cease-and-desist notices on 20 budget retailers and independent music stores for stocking counterfeit Top 40 CDs.

The product, believed to originate from Malaysia, included current releases from U2, Ronan Keating, Delta Goodrem, Live, the Bee Gees and Silverchair.

By Feb. 21, all 20 notified stores in Sydney and Brisbane had taken the illicit CDs off their shelves, says Michael Speck, outgoing GM of the trade body's Music Industry Piracy Investigation (MIPI) unit. Paul Nameth, owner and operator of Sydney independent store Fish Records, said he pulled the product as soon as he was advised.

MIPI believes the high-quality counterfeit CDs arrived from Southeast Asia alongside shipments of legal CDs. MIPI investigators became aware of the product when some budget retailers began stocking current chart releases for A$10 ($7.80) where the same product retailed elsewhere for A$31 ($24.42).

Speck expects MIPI will service notice on an additional 100 retailers along the east coast.

It is not known how many counterfeit CDs were sold by the 20 retailers, but MIPI estimates that between 500,000 and 700,000 of the discs entered Australia in the past 12 months.


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