Monthly Archives: October 2016

Pirated CDs Hurting Music Business

393184 09: A dealer of counterfeit pop and rap music CDs sells his merchandise August 13, 2001 on a street in New York City. Constantly keeping one eye out for the police, these wandering dealers of knock-off CDs, purses, sunglasses, watches and videos can be found by the dozens in any of the tourist districts of New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A dealer of counterfeit pop and rap music CDs sells his merchandise August 13, 2001 on a street in New York City. Constantly keeping one eye out for the police, these wandering dealers of knock-off CDs, purses, sunglasses, watches and videos can be found by the dozens in any of the tourist districts of New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Even today, when most music is purchased and listened to digitally, there are still many people that take their music in hard copy, on an old-fashioned compact disc, or CD. These small metal discs, laser-etched with beautiful sounds for the customers’ listening pleasure, go for about $10 each. When created, and sold by legitimate companies, part of the sales of these CDs go to the artists as royalties.

Unfortunately, more and more of these CDs are counterfeits, making money for the pirates, leaving the legitimate artists and their music producers, high and dry. This problem has reared its ugly head even more severely recently as the pirates brazenly flood such well-respected retail outlets as Amazon.com Inc and other similar online sellers. The counterfeits sell for almost the same price as their authentic cousins, and are getting more and more difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

One major record company said that there are a few European markets where sales of CDs were unchanged, while its Amazon account sales were down by a steep 17 percent, or even more, because of the counterfeits.

Earlier this year the American Association of Independent Music told its independent-label members about the problem of counterfeit CDs. The AAIM said that counterfeiters from China have been selling illegal CDs on Amazon for almost the same price as the legit CDs, and within weeks of when a new album is first released, sometimes even getting the fakes into Amazon’s “buy box.”
Counterfeiters have been pirating CDs for decades, but the problem has gotten much worse as more CD buyers order their music online. In the past the fakes were mostly sold on street corners, were impossibly cheap, and used photocopied covers to declare their in-authenticity to all but the most unaware consumers.

Only Five US States Account for Half of Business R&D Spending

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics published a report stating that half of all the money spent on research and development in the US is spent in only five states.
The report focuses on the R&D expenditures for 2013, the total of which was $255 billion. It showed that business R&D is more geographically concentrated than either population or gross national product.

California had by far the highest concentration of R&D, with a total of $77 billion, or 30% of the total. Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington State had totals of $14 billion, and Texas was the fifth state with total R&D expenditures of $13 billion.

During the five years between 2008 and 2013 California’s R&D grew from 25% to 30% of the US total, growing at a faster pace than its total economy. The intensity of this growth, the ratio of business R&D to GDP, increased from 2.8% to 3.5%.

In four of the top ten states just one industry dominated the business R&D. In Washington it was the software industry that accounted for 62% of its total, while in Michigan automobile manufacturing was 74% of its total. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the pharmaceutical industry accounted for 53% and 48%, respectively.

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