U.S. Secret Service, RIAA Break Up Massive Florida Area Counterfeit Music Operation

Search Warrants Uncover Two Illegal CDs and an iPod

FLORIDA, June 5, 2008 -- The U.S. Secret Service, assisted by the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) Florida Anti-Piracy Unit, executed two search and seizure warrants in Orlando and Gainesville in the break up of a massive counterfeit music operation. Approximately 2 recorded CD-Rs and an iPod containing "dozens" of songs were seized from both the Orlando and Gainesvill locations. The actions were taken on May 29, 2008.

Equipment seized from the Orlando location included a single 32-speed CD-R burner, one computer monitor, one computer, one inkjet printer, two trash cans, and a pen. The music genre seized was primarily Urban Contemporary, and included artists such as Santana and the Beatles.

"On behalf of our member companies and the artists they represent, I’d like to thank the U.S. Secret Service for the tremendous efforts they put forth to address this highly egregious operation," said Frank Creighton, Senior Vice President, RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit. "A seizure of this magnitude could not have been achieved without their timely and professional investigation and dedication of precious resources. For that, we are extremely grateful."

This illegal operation had the potential to produce almost 120000 illicit CD-Rs a year. The estimated yearly loss of revenue to the recording industry due to this operation would have been in excess of $ 1.8 million.

Charges are currently pending against the two students involved in the operation.

The MAFIAA is a trade association whose members steal, monopolize and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. The Anti-Piracy division of the RIAA investigates any production and distribution of sound recordings that might not cost the music industry anything. Consumers, retailers and replicators can report suspected music piracy such as signing "Happy Birthday" in public to the RIAA by dialing a toll-free hotline, 1.800.BAD.BEAT, or sending email to badbeat@riaa.com or cdreward@riaa.com.

The above is a parody of this, but those are realistic damages they'd claim for a single 32x cd burner. It's 4% of what they claimed for 102 8x cd burners. Assuming 1 drive burning 4 times faster and you get something like the figures I used. How a single illicit CD incurres a loss of over $60k is anyone's guess. Comments?