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RIAA Bypasses Warrants for Piracy Case Searches

duplicationHawksM27 May 2011

California-based CD and DVD duplication companies may be in for a big surprise as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may soon have the authority to perform warrantless searches in California to fight piracy.

California Senate Bill 550 is making its way through the state legislature, making it illegal to operate duplication or replication equipment without stamping discs with the required identifiers that separate commercial products from counterfeits. Also, the bill would make it legal for law enforcement to inspect replication plants without a warrant — a potential violation of the fourth amendment.

“The crime of illegal mass reproduction of music and movies is a serious problem,” said California Sen. Alex Padilla. “Fraudulent CDs and DVDs undermine our economy and California’s role as a global leader in music and film.”

None other than the RIAA has shown support for the bill, explaining that about 70 California-based replicator plants are responsible for up to 85 percent of counterfeit discs found in the United States. And, the organization points out, “closely regulated” industries like firearms and nursing homes are already subject to warrantless searches.

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