They've sued Internet users for years for downloading songs illegally. Now, the music industry is targeting pirates in 12 cities who copy CDs and DVDs for sale at street corners, flea markets, family-run shops and even mainstream record stores.
Among the cities the executives identified as hotbeds of music piracy are Austin, Dallas and Houston. Others are Atlanta; Chicago; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; Providence, Rhode Island; San Diego and San Francisco.
The cities were selected based on market surveys, earlier raids and industry reviews of sales data suggesting lost sales during the past five years.
The Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America is a trade group for the largest labels. It'll release details of its new anti-piracy campaign in Washington today.
The group estimates the industry lost one (B) billion dollars in CD sales last year to piracy. That includes more than 300 (M) million dollars in losses blamed on underground sales of illegally copied discs. It says police seized more than five (M) million illegal CDs and arrested 33-hundred people last year.