LONDON (CelebrityAccessMediaWire) —
Over 23 million pirate CDs and DVDs were seized by customs at European borders in 2006, according to the latest figures from the European Commission. The 139% increase in the seizures of discs (audio, games, film, software) compared to 2005-2006 points to the increasing damage that piracy is doing to the creative industries in Europe and the European economy.
China remains the world's number one source of counterfeit and pirate product. An overwhelming 93% of the CDs and DVDs seized were of Chinese origin, compared to 51% in 2005. "These statistics underscore the urgent need for the EU to step up pressure on China before the WTO," said Frances Moore, IFPI regional director for Europe. "China is producing and exporting millions of pirate products around the world. This has to stop."
China is currently facing a WTO case brought by the U.S. which challenges weaknesses in the country's protection and enforcement of copyrights and trademarks. The EU joined the consultation phase of the WTO case as a third party at the end of April.
IFPI estimates that a third of all CDs purchased in 2005 were pirate – 1.2 billion pirate CDs in total. The global traffic of pirate CDs was worth US$4.5 billion in 2005 based on pirate prices. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen