Record Industry Hails Ukraine Anti-Piracy Measures Agreed with US Government

IFPI Press Release, June 6, 2000

London – June 6, 2000

IFPI, the organization representing the international recording industry, welcomed as a crucial breakthrough the announcement yesterday of an action plan agreed between President Clinton and President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine to tackle head-on the CD piracy problem in the country.

The Ukraine government said it had taken immediate steps, suspending production at five CD plants known to produce pirate discs. The plants will be strictly supervised in the future to ensure they only engage in authorized production.

The government has also committed to enforcement and legislative initiatives including the protection of all recordings released within the past 50 years, strengthening criminal and civil penalties for copyright violation, and regulation of the raw materials used in the manufacture of optical discs.

In order to avoid possible US trade sanctions, the agreed plan of action is due to be fully implemented by November 1, 2000. IFPI will be monitoring the situation on behalf of the worldwide recording industry and RIAA will co-ordinate with IFPI and the US Government to ensure Ukraine meets its obligations.

Agreement to the plan comes after negotiations started in May between Prime Minister Viktor Yushenko and US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky. At the end of last month, a delegation from IFPI and its US affiliate RIAA met with senior government officials in Kiev to call for an immediate end to the manufacturing and export of pirate optical discs by Ukraine.

IFPI Chairman and CEO Berman said, “This is a very encouraging first step by the Ukraine Government towards solving one of the world’s most serious optical disc piracy problems.”

Ukraine is one of the predominant producers of pirate optical discs in the world, where pirates are exploiting weaknesses in the intellectual property regime. Ukrainian CD plants have an estimated joint capacity to produce 70 million discs annually, nearly all for export. The losses to the music industry as a result of Ukrainian piracy are estimated at over 200 million in 1999.

Under the plan, the Government of Ukraine has agreed to:

  • Take immediate steps to adopt legislation to provide protection to all foreign sound recordings released in the past fifty years.
  • Adopt regulations requiring the licensing of optical disc manufacturing and distribution plants and the use of SID (source identification) codes.
  • Adopt a comprehensive regulatory structure for the import and export of raw materials and equipment used in the manufacture of optical discs.
  • Amend the penal code to provide strong penalties, including criminal penalties with imprisonment for violation of copyright laws, in particular of the rights of producers of sound recordings.

For further information contact:
Adrian Strain, Director of Communications, IFPI: (44) 207 878 7900

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