Morelle Bill to Crack Down on Music Piracy Signed by Gov. Cuomo

August 5, 2011

A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle, D-Irondequoit, strengthening state laws against music piracy has been signed by Gov. Cuomo.

New York’s anti-piracy laws now specifically prohibit the use of computer hard drives and related technologies for the purpose of fraudulently duplicating and distributing recordings. Many industry advocates, including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, say the dramatic 30 percent drop in music sales globally since 2004 is in part the result in an increase in bootleg trafficking.

“Bootleggers and underground sellers undermine the recording industry and its artists by essentially stealing their work and profiting from that theft,” Morelle said. “It also makes it harder for legitimate music retailers to do business in New York because their illegal competitors don’t pay for the music they sell and don’t pay taxes on the profits they make.

“These are not victimless crimes, and we need to make sure our laws are as state-of-the-art as the technology used to commit them.”

The bill was approved by both the Assembly and Senate in June.