50,000 Pirated CDs Crushed with Steamroller

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Peru's state property rights agency on Tuesday crushed 50,000 pirated music CDs with a steamroller on a Lima street as part of a plan to deter a rampant trade in counterfeit goods.
Musicians and singers danced atop the pile of thousands of compact discs protesting pirating that the government says inhibits artistic creativity and starves a cash-strapped state of needed taxes.

"We need to eliminate (piracy) immediately ... We are calling on everyone to come out and help us crush counterfeit goods," Martin Moscoso, director for intellectual property rights of state agency INDECOPI, told Canal N cable television.

Some 98 percent of music CDs in Peru are pirated -- one of the highest rates in the world -- and they are often indistinguishable from originals in sound quality and packaging and cost a fraction of the price of an authorized disc.

Moscoso told Reuters that the steamrolling operation, which also destroyed pirated videos and chewing gum, prevented losses of $750,000 for the music industry.

He added that enthusiasm for pirated goods is a major problem for poor Peru, robbing the government of $14 million a year in uncollected taxes in fake CDs alone. Other pirated goods available across Peru -- where many people cannot afford original goods -- include name brand clothes, books, software, food and movies yet to hit cinemas.
 
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