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Germany

Why Buy When You Can Burn?

In 2001, the number of CDs burned in Germany most likely surpassed the amount sold, sending the music industry into a double percentage loss.

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Pirated music CDs on display at a university in Salonika, Greece

The numbers, at least for the music industry, are troubling.

Though not final yet – December is an important sales month – the head of the German Association for Phonographic Business said the possibility that the number of CDs burned is higher than the number sold is almost a foregone conclusion.

Already in March this year, the number of burned CDs had doubled from April 2000, said Thorsten Hansen. Hansen expects the 133 million burned at that point to overtake the 190 millionCDs sold commercially.

"The trend has continued since then," said Hansen.

The result could cause the German music industry's annual income to slip further than12.6 percent it already lost in the first half of 2001, Hansen said.

The biggest temptation seems to be the "clone-like quality" of burned CDs compared to the original, said Hansen, making it a bigger problem than copied tapes were earlier.

In an effort to fight back, the music industry have begun circulating CDs that cannot be duplicated by the many CD burner machines on the market. Hansen said there are probably millions on the market already.

There is one problem, according to one trade magazine. The CDs are so protected, they often don’t function in car radios or DVD players, according to the magazine, test.