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    The characteristics of various unauthorized recordings:

    Pirate Product

    A pirate product is an unauthorized copy of a recording that has label(s), artwork, trademark(s) and packaging that are different from the original. The current characteristics of a pirate CD are:
    • Often compilations of songs recorded by different artists
    • "Unknown" labels or logos
    • Misspellings on CD or packaging, such as the artists' name or song title
    • Inlay card has no proper copyright notices
    • No album title on CD

    Counterfeit Product

    A counterfeit product is an unauthorized copy of a recording, packaged to resemble the original as closely as possible. The original label, artwork, trademark(s) and packaging are reproduced in order to mislead the consumer into believing that they are buying an original product. The characteristics of a counterfeit CD are:
    • Everything is copied (particularly the cover design) to mislead the consumer into believing that it is original
    • CD may not have an Source Indentification Code (SID Code)


      What an SID Code looks like

      Click on image for an enlarged view


    Bootleg Product

    A bootleg product is an unauthorized recording of an artist's performance. It may have been recorded live at a concert or from a live radio or broadcasts. They are duplicated and sold without the permission of the artist, composer or record company.

    CD Plant Piracy

    There is a grave concern, especially in this part of the world that the pirates have gone global and have established connections with international organized crime. These pirate syndicates invest millions in CD manufacturing equipment to churn out millions of pirated product. There are currently way too many CD plants in the world given that legitimate demand is but less than half of the total maximum capacity of these plants.

    In light of this, the recording industry has a zero tolerance policy against plants found to be manufacturing pirate product, without carrying checks or setting up procedures to ensure that orders are legitimate.

    Internet Piracy

    The tremendous growth of the Internet has unfortunately led to the abuse in the use of legitimate recordings. Unauthorized copies of sound recordings are available in the thousands on mainly MP3 format online to anyone with a personal computer. Music is uploaded or downloaded without any concern about the legitimacy of the action. Many people fail to see that this is but another form of theft, as the owners of these recordings have not authorized such a use.

    One statistic Singaporeans should not be proud of is that we were at one time the highest users of Napster in Asia. As many of you know, Napster is a peer-to-peer file sharing service, which allows users to collect music files for free. Most of these files are sound recordings that are used without the consent of the owners. The courts in the US have held that Napster violates copyright laws and have ordered it to remove all copyrighted material and to stop offering unauthorized files to the public.

    There are currently hundreds of Napster like programs available on the Internet offering unauthorized sound recordings. When a person is downloading unauthorized MP3 music from the Internet, or by converting music from CDs into MP3 format and uploading them on to the World Wide Web for public access, that person is liable for copyright infringement.

    What users may not realize is that as activities on the Internet are captured and archived for prolonged periods of time, it is not difficult for infringing activities to be tracked. It is, therefore, possible to determine which precise users are infringing copyright.

    Another form of piracy on the Internet is the offering for sale copies of pirated CDs to a worldwide market. These pirates either purchase such CDs off the streets or produce them on CD burners and ship them off to a customer in another country at a huge profit.

    Ultimately consumers will suffer because of this abuse of technology. Instead of using it to bring music to a much greater audience and at a much greater speed, these pirates have hindered the development of legitimate on-line music businesses.

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