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Man charged with selling pirated music



Published: Thu, March 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A Canonsburg man was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of having sold bootlegged recordings of performances by Bob Dylan, Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen last year, federal authorities said Friday.

Jeffery Smittle, 43, faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Pittsburgh.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Brysh declined to release further details of the investigation, which included the FBI, state and Canonsburg police and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Smittle did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment on Sunday.

Brysh said the case was rare for western Pennsylvania but it mirrors efforts nationwide by the recording industry and law enforcement to curtail bootlegs.

The RIAA, which represents the nation's five major record labels, has set up offices with detectives, hired private detectives and worked with law enforcement to crack down on pirated recordings.

The millions of pirated CDs routinely sold coast to coast are costing its members $300 million domestically and $4.2 billion worldwide in lost sales and royalties, according to the RIAA.

In August, the RIAA and Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided a Clearwater, Fla., music store and seized 1,100 bootleg CDs worth about $10,000.




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