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Bulgaria: Sofia Approves Measure Against Commercial Piracy

Sofia, 17 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's caretaker government today approved new measures to fight the illegal production and distribution of pirate videos, music CDs, and computer software.

The decree requires all production orders for audio and video recordings to be registered with the Copyright Department at the Ministry of Culture. The previous law required registration only on production at state factories.

Music industry anti-piracy monitors say Bulgaria already has the strictest anti-piracy legislation in eastern Europe, but that it still exports as many as 20 million counterfeit CDs every year. The monitors say Sofia has simply ignored its own legislation. Growing pirate production at the state-owned DZU CD plant in Stara Zagora has led western music industry officials to conclude that Bulgaria's previous governments have been involved in piracy.

The European Union has urged Bulgaria to crack down on piracy, saying it is hampering Sofia's efforts to integrate with the EU.