Music industry busts jukebox piracy scheme

Is your Sock Hop safe?

Just because the recording industry keeps a close eye on internet file-sharing these days doesn't mean you can evade the long arm of justice, antiquated mediums of entertainment!

Indeed, Spanish police in the western province of Extremadura have recently conducted a major sting against bars selling crooked music videos on unlicensed coin-operated jukeboxes. This crimewave of injurious jukes is believed to have generated around one million euro in revenue for their supplier, according to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), which represents recording biz interests worldwide.

The investigation was sprung by "anti-piracy experts" from the local music license enforcement acronym, the AGEDI, which went to police with evidence that an unnamed company with headquarters in Deleitosa was making and distributing unlicensed jukeboxes.

AGEDI claims the machines played music videos that were downloaded from the internet without the authorization of the rights holders and installed in bars across the Extremadura region.

About 100 officers from six stations inspected 47 bars in the area over the course of 12 hours, seizing 25 jukeboxes, the IFPI said. (That's four officers per jukebox, at a rate of about 2.08 of a jukebox per hour.)

Alas, the bust is only a piece of a larger illegal jukebox problem that has "grown dramatically in the last year," according to the IFPI. Malt shop owners and other refugees from the 1950s can rest easy knowing the Spanish National Police are continuing to investigate and that one more unlicensed jukebox administrator is behind bars. ®

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