Millions of CDs seized, 519 arrests made.

Italy's authorities ramped up their anti-piracy activities in 2005, new figures illustrate.
More than 1.6 million pre-recorded CD-Rs were seized last year, up by 21% with respect to 2004, according to statistics released by Italy's anti-piracy group FPM.

Roughly 800,000 illegal music DVDs and six million blank CD-Rs were seized. FPM reports a 35% year-on-year increase in the number of arrests (to 519), as well as a 10% increase (to 1,509) in the number of illegal high-speed burners that were confiscated.

The rise in anti-piracy measures came in the same year that the Italian parliament effectively scuttled the war on piracy by passing the controversial Ex-Cirielli Law. The law reduces the statute of limitations in trials for a range of offences and, in a country with a notoriously slow legal system, this is expected to have disastrous effects on many prosecution cases.

Enzo Mazza, president of both FPM and the major labels representative body FIMI, tells, "We are still waiting to see what effect this law will have on both current and future anti-piracy trials."