Piracy Conviction a Win for Musicians Everywhere: Recording Industry

The Canadian Press, December 20, 2013 | Go to article overview

Piracy Conviction a Win for Musicians Everywhere: Recording Industry


Piracy conviction called a win for musicians

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WINNIPEG - The Canadian Recording Industry Association says the conviction of a Manitoba man for music and video piracy is a huge step in the fight against illegal recordings.

Raj Singh Ramgotra of Winnipeg pleaded guilty this week to dozens of charges related to criminal copyright infringement. He was given a two-year conditional sentence and must pay $550,000 in fines and restitution.

"This really is a banner day for the Canadian music industry and for artists and record labels across the country and around the world," association spokesman Richard Pfohl told a talk show Friday on Winnipeg radio station CJOB.

"This is one of the largest -- if not the largest -- verdicts against an offender in history."

Ramgotra, 36, was arrested in 2008 after an extensive RCMP investigation into Winnipeg-based Audiomaxxx.com.

Pfohl said Ramgotra was technically saavy and was shipping an estimated 10,000 bootlegged CDs and DVDs a month from his operation.

"He had a website where he would burn these CDs -- none of which he had licensed, all of which he had stolen -- and sell them for $3.99, which obviously directly undercut legitimate sales," Pfohl said.

"At one point he was one of the largest sites in the world for physical piracy."

When the RCMP busted Ramgotra, they seized five 12-burner CD and DVD burning towers, computers, hard drives, commercial CD printers, colour copiers and other office equipment, Pfohl said.

He also said that Ramgotra pulled in nearly $2 million from his operation, so "that's money that came directly out of the pockets of artists and record labels."

The association says the victimized artists included Shania Twain, Nelly Furtado and Jay Z. …

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