FERNANDINA BEACH, FLA.—The International Recording Media Association is tackling the problem of pirates replicating optical media.
Compact audio disc makers lose $14 million a day in sales to pirated products worldwide, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The U.S. portion is $1 million per day.
An IRMA task force seeks an industrywide solution through replicator certification, and anticipates publishing a standard in June, Howard Schwartz, director of IRMA's anti-piracy compliance program, said in a March 11 panel discussion at IRMA's executive forum at Fernandina Beach. He formerly was a manufacturing executive with CBS Inc. and Sony Corp. entertainment units.
A coalition of domestic replicators, content owners, software developers, resin makers and packagers is aiming for an international standard eventually. RIAA and the Motion Picture Association of America are participating.
Morris Ballen, chairman of replicator Disc Makers/Audio & Video Labs Inc. in Pennsauken, N.J., called the pirates ``small, selective groups of desperadoes.''
``We're going to be more scrupulous at the front end in screening potential customers,'' said Brian Wilson, executive vice president of Allied Digital Technologies Corp.'s sales and marketing division in New York. ``Often, you can be lulled to sleep in working with a customer for many years.''
In one situation, Crest National of Hollywood, Calif., was unable to identify a chain of ownership on an October 1997 rush order. Crest never shipped the discs because of liability issues and, ultimately, sued the customer to recover production expenses.
Recently, Crest spent four days in a California court explaining indicators of piracy and acknowledging no industry standards exist.
While the task force has yet to quantify certification costs, replicators know the risk of a pirated job.