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New Law Leads To Bootleg CD Crackdown
Milwaukee police are using a new law to crack down on counterfeit music retailers.

The law makes it easier to prosecute bootleggers. Places like the House Mix Spot CD store have been the target of police.

"The police came in here and confiscated everything," security guard Leshon Christen said. "They said it was illegal to sell the CDs they were selling."

Police raided House Mix last week after someone from the recording industry tipped them off that the store was selling illegal party mix compact discs. The House Mix owner closed up shop.

Across the street, AJ & PJs Music Room is still open, but police seized their party mix discs as well.

"We got them from the distributors, and they asked if we can sell them in our stores," a sales clerk there said.

The clerk said they weren't aware of the new law which makes it a crime to sell recordings which don't disclose manufacturer information.

The new law makes it easier for prosecutors to target counterfeiters, since they no longer have to prove piracy. Instead they can file charges against retailers simply for selling discs that don't have manufacturer information, WISN 12's Colleen Henry reported.

Piracy laws require prosecutors to track down artists to prove they didn't give consent for bootlegged recordings. This cumbersome task made such prosecutions rare. This new law is especially helpful when it comes to party discs featuring many groups, Milwaukee County assistant district attorney David Feiss said.

"This law helps us address that situation without having to track down all those people," Feiss said. "We're not talking about a statute that covers people who are making copies for their own personal use."

The district attorney said state laws don't target people making homemade dubs popularized by Internet music swap sites, just those who rent or sell them.

Prosecutors have yet to file criminal charges in this case.




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