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  • ... and now another reason to not buy CDs

    From WSJ: Pirated CDs on Web Deal Another Blow to Music Industry

    Fakes often cost nearly as much as the official versions and increasingly are difficult to distinguish from the real goods


    ENLARGE
    More than one million pirated music, movie and software CDs and DVDs were destroyed in May during a campaign organized by the government in Algeria. Photo: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters



    By Hannah Karp

    Oct. 30, 2016 6:40 p.m. ET 18 COMMENTS

    Even in the digital era there are plenty of music fans who still buy old-fashioned compact discs for more than $10 a pop. But the money that shoppers have been spending on CDs lately hasn’t necessarily been going to the artists and record labels who created the music.
    In the latest challenge for the battered music industry, pirates are flooding Amazon.com Inc. and other online retailers with counterfeit CDs that often cost nearly as much as the official versions and increasingly are difficult to distinguish from the real goods.
    One major record company said that in some European markets its direct-to-consumer CD sales were flat, while its Amazon account sales were down 17% or more this year due to counterfeits.



    Earlier this month, the American Association of Independent Music alerted its indie-label members about Chinese pirates who have been selling knockoff CDs on Amazon for slightly less than the cost of legitimate albums, bringing illicit copies to market within about two weeks of an album’s release date, and sometimes getting them featured in Amazon’s “buy box.”
    Although CD sales accounted for only about 13% of revenue for record labels in the U.S. for the first half of 2016, they accounted for nearly 40% of global revenue for the $15 billion recorded music industry last year, and still make up the bulk of sales in top music markets including France, Germany and Japan, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
    In late August, the Recording Industry Association of America launched a study to determine the severity of the problem.
    Starting with Amazon due to its size, the record-label trade group’s investigators searched for music on the site in a range of categories, from new releases to greatest hits, and placed orders for the CDs that came up in the top search results for each type of album. Of a total of 194 CDs delivered, 44 turned out to be counterfeit—including 18 counterfeit CDs in orders that were fulfilled by Amazon itself, not third-party sellers.
    Greatest-hits albums were the most likely to be fake, with 28 of the 36 greatest-hits collections in question proving illegitimate.
    Brad Buckles, the RIAA’s executive vice president overseeing antipiracy, said Amazon expressed a desire to help solve the problem after hearing of its survey results this month.
    “Amazon should not be playing host to illegal items that would normally be found on the black market,” he said.
    Amazon has “zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits,” said an Amazon spokeswoman, and is “working closely with labels and distributors to identify offenders, and remove fraudulent items from our catalog. We are also taking action and aggressively pursuing bad actors.”
    While counterfeiters have been burning knockoff CDs for decades, the problem has intensified for record labels during the past 18 months as more CD buyers shop online. Unlike today’s sophisticated knockoffs, in the past, fakes primarily were sold on the streets, cost much less and often sported photocopied cover art and other obvious signs of phoniness.



    Counterfeit sales are an issue for all kinds of retailers who sell their goods on Amazon, not just record labels. Earlier this month Apple Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against a New Jersey company selling counterfeit Apple-branded chargers and cables on Amazon that risked overheating or catching fire. Apple said in the complaint that it had discovered the fakes by ordering what appeared to be Apple products and discovering that the company hadn’t produced 90% of what it received.
    Part of the problem stems from the way Amazon manages inventory in warehouses across the country to keep a wide spectrum of products in stock, allowing third-party sellers to pool their inventory with supposedly identical items supplied by official sellers, all of which can end up sharing the same bar code and shelf space.
    For the music industry, the phenomenon is just the latest blow to CD sales, which began declining in 2000 as fans started sharing music online on sites such as Napster. Big-box retailers sent revenues down as they discounted CDs to lure shoppers in for bigger-ticket items. Some fans began buying digital albums and singles instead when Apple opened its iTunes Music Store in 2003.
    In recent years, sales of CDs have fallen less quickly than sales of digital downloads, which have become less attractive compared with streaming services such as Spotify AB and Apple Music offering 40 million digital tracks for $10 a month.
    For some superfans and collectors, CDs remain attractive because of their artwork, liner notes and, some say, better sound quality.
    In a letter to the U.S. trade representative earlier this year, the RIAA said it had traced a large number of the counterfeits on Amazon to a CD manufacturing plant in China. “The artwork, packaging and inserts are carefully copied in fine detail. The untrained eye would not even be able to identify them as counterfeits,” the RIAA’s letter said. Russian counterfeits, by contrast, carefully copy the exterior packaging and artwork but can be “sloppy” when it comes to interior packaging, with Russian-language inserts and no effort made to mimic, for instance, various codes printed on the reverse side of the discs themselves, the letter said.
    Shoppers, however, can’t necessarily tell where the CDs sold on Amazon are made before they receive them because foreign sellers often mask their location with U.S. addresses on the site, the RIAA found.





  • #2
    They don't say whether the music on these counterfeit CDs is bit for bit perfect with the real thing or not.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • #3
      Nothing new, this has been going on since cassette days and CDs were always pirated since day 1 as were VHS movies that had no protection. DVD is a little bit better but not by much.

      david
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      • #4
        If the music industry needs to place blame for all that, the use of a mirror will show where to put it.

        I will point out that when I refer to the "music industry", I mean the bloated corporate entities that for decades have set the conditions leading to their current difficulties. Not the many small labels wherein lies the majority of creativity to be found today.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by david k View Post
          Nothing new, this has been going on since cassette days and CDs were always pirated since day 1 as were VHS movies that had no protection. DVD is a little bit better but not by much.

          david
          DVDs have gotten so cheap that piracy isn't worth it anymore, but there is DVD copy software out there that makes perfect DVD copies....
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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          • MylesBAstor
            MylesBAstor commented
            Editing a comment
            I thought it was people got tired of that head in the picture.

          • JCOConnell
            JCOConnell commented
            Editing a comment
            huh?

        • #6
          I know that piracy was one of Winston Ma's great worries. Particularly since his (FIM - First Impression Music) was a high cost operation (primarily due to the production costs - including editing and mastering by many of the top pros and expensive, high quality production values including the packaging. He told me that the pirates got so good about making exact copies, particularly in Asia, where he had much of his sales, that he sometimes had customers return to him defective CD's which were pirates, with the package so good that it came close to fooling him. During the time I worked with him on our Decca book, he developed an essentially fool proof way to combat piracy, that is to embed a holographic image in the inner border of the CD. The four CD's that come with my book have that feature. It still doesn't prevent people from ripping the CD, but protects against pirates from making exact copies of the CD's. Customers who want to buy pirate copies cannot be prevented from doing so, but customers who want to buy the genuine article can do so with confidence. He told me that there were some of the larger companies looking into his system. Don't know what happened since his passing.

          Larry
          Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
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          Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

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          • #7
            I remember a couple of years ago when the Beatles mono and stereo boxes were first being released and Heidi was shopping online for the cheapest price. She didn't check the website and a week later a package showed up from China. Wonder if they were counterfeit? Oh and a week later, mysterious charges started showing up on her credit card. Nice scam.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
              I know that piracy was one of Winston Ma's great worries. Particularly since his (FIM - First Impression Music) was a high cost operation (primarily due to the production costs - including editing and mastering by many of the top pros and expensive, high quality production values including the packaging. He told me that the pirates got so good about making exact copies, particularly in Asia, where he had much of his sales, that he sometimes had customers return to him defective CD's which were pirates, with the package so good that it came close to fooling him. During the time I worked with him on our Decca book, he developed an essentially fool proof way to combat piracy, that is to embed a holographic image in the inner border of the CD. The four CD's that come with my book have that feature. It still doesn't prevent people from ripping the CD, but protects against pirates from making exact copies of the CD's. Customers who want to buy pirate copies cannot be prevented from doing so, but customers who want to buy the genuine article can do so with confidence. He told me that there were some of the larger companies looking into his system. Don't know what happened since his passing.

              Larry
              Just look at drug counterfeiting. They did this piece on 60 Minutes a while back about counterfeit Viagra from China. Only the experts at Pfizer (and they have a special counterfeiting division just to stay ahead of things) could tell the fake from real pill. They went through all the safeguards Pfizer does including rotating packaging every couple of months etc. and that still didn't deter the counterfeiters. Turns out the Chinese had someone on the inside at Pfizer.

              But drugs are also counterfeited in South American and the scary part is that the pills they looked were colored with lead based, yellow road paint Buyer beware. Even scarier is that people are concerned that terrorists could manufacturer counterfeit drugs with poisons in them for mass killing, especially in Europe. In case you think this is fantasy, Hezbollah already obtains significant amounts of money from counterfeit drugs that enter through Southern Europe. Imagine if some drug medicine --take for instance a heart medicine -- is laced with poison?

              And guess where a lot of these counterfeit drugs are sold? Through these internet sites that promise cheaper prices on common prescription drugs. So one should be on their toes as to where they buy their Rx drugs and especially ones that come from foreign countries.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

              Comment

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