The bulk of video/audio tapes sold in Russia are counterfeit

The bulk of video and audio tapes released in Russia this year are counterfeit, Pyotr Poroikov of the Russian press ministry confirmed at a RIA Novosti press conference on Thursday.

In the first 10 months of 2002, the country sold about 220 million audio tapes, of which 186 million were counterfeit, reported Poroikov. Of the 95,000 video tapes sold during the same period, 80 million had been manufactured illegally. The unit weight of counterfeit products on the CD and DVD market reached about 80%.

The high piracy rate in the given sphere tells on the country's international authority and the process of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation, stressed the spokesman for the press ministry. The advantageousness of illegal video and audio businesses also accounts for a large number of organised criminal groups and growth of shadow economy. In 2001, according to the ministry's information, direct loss from short-received taxes alone amounted to 3.5 billion rubles.

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