RIAA Wants to Raid CD-Pirating Plants Without Warrants

Proposed law would allow police to search and seize without court order

May 19, 2011 10:55 AM ET
Senator Alex Padilla
Senator Alex Padilla
David Livingston/Getty Images

The Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are supporting a proposed measure in California that would allow law enforcement to enter optical-disc plans and seize pirated materials – as well as disc-stamping equipment – without a court warrant. The legislation, which has already been passed by two state Senate committees, is up for a vote in another Senate committee next week.

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The author of the constitutionally questionable legislation is State Senator Alex Padilla, a Los Angeles-area Democrat. In a statement, Padilla says that he is pursuing the law because "fraudulent CDs and DVDs undermine our economy and California’s role as a global leader in music and film. They steal revenue from artists, retailers, and our entertainment sector."

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According to the RIAA, the vast majority of bootleg CDs and DVDs come from disc replicator plants, and 70 of these facilities are located in California. In addition to being subject to warrant-free search and seizure under the proposed legislation, these plants would also face fines up to $250,000.

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