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100,000 pirated discs destroyed in Moscow Region

LOSINO-PETROVSKY (Moscow Region), April 25 (RIA Novosti) - About 100,000 pirated discs weighing four metric tons were destroyed Monday in the Moscow Region.

Deputy Culture Minister Leonid Nadirov told a news briefing after the event that Russia, like all civilized countries, was fighting against counterfeit goods.

Nadirov said, "Our aim is to make licensed discs cheaper, and to stop pirating altogether."

According to U.S. experts, losses from copyright piracy in Russia amounted to $1.7 billion in 2005, and have exceeded $6.5 billion in the past five years. Experts have said virtually all films, music, software and books are counterfeited in Russia and that pirated products account for 67%-85% of all copyright material.

Interior Ministry official Alexander Vorobyov called for tougher penalties for the pirates and told the briefing, "I would not say we have moved very far yet, [as] there are still a lot of counterfeit goods being sold in Moscow and all over Russia."

The pirated discs destroyed at the event have been melted down using new equipment, and will be sent for recycling.

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