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YEREVAN, JULY 27, ARMENPRESS: In what looks like the start of a massive crackdown on local recording companies who routinely violate copyright law Armenian police have opened criminal proceedings against Reco Records company after seizing tens of thousands of illegally produced CDs from its shops and storehouse.

A spokesman for police, Sayat Shirinian said today the owners of the company failed to produce agreements with a cohort of Armenian pop music singers whose songs the company was reproducing on CDs. Shirinian said the criminal case was started in line with an article of Armenian penal code for violation of copyright. He said the police was acting on a hint from Armenian Copyright non-governmental organization that several companies dealing with recording were ignoring the copyright law.

He said police officers discovered thousands of illegally recorded CDs and special equipment. He also said several Armenian pop-singers were questioned and confirmed they did not sign agreements with the company to allow it to reproduce their music on CDs. A man selling Reco Records CDs at a wholesale market in downtown Yerevan admitted to buying some 40,000 drams worth CDs from the company daily beginning from last February having eared 25 million drams in income but paid no taxes.

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