April 07, 1998 Richmond, Indiana
An Illinois man has been charged with fraud after asking SANYO-Verbatim CD Company to replicate music he did not own, according to Indiana State Police. The police were called by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after being tipped off by SANYO-Verbatim.
The man, from Oak Park, Ill., was arrested March 19 by members of the Indiana State Police white-collar crime unit. He pleaded innocent to the charge March 24 in Wayne County Superior Court, and the case was continued.
Ross Josephson, manager of internal sales and corporate marketing for SANYO-Verbatim, said the company “is determined to protect the rights of the legitimate owners of replicated material, and to ensure that consumers receive high-quality products with no hint of illegality.”
Frank Creighton, vice president and associate director of anti-piracy for the RIAA, said he was pleased by SANYO-Verbatim’s actions. “Clearly, piracy is one of the biggest threats facing our industry,” he said, “and this is a classic case of how a responsible company and the RIAA can work together to prevent illegal actions. It sends a very strong message to potential pirates.”
According to Mike Glover, customer service manager for SANYO-Verbatim, the man had approached the company with a tape of music by such popular artists as Michael Bolton and Phil Collins, and had asked that 4,500 compact discs be produced. “We do quality checks on all incoming tapes and masters as a matter of routine,” Glover said. “In this case, someone in our editing department became suspicious that the customer might not have the rights to this particular material.”
SANYO-Verbatim contacted the RIAA for verification that the man owned the rights to the recorded material. The RIAA determined that the music, copyrighted by Sony and Warner Brothers, had not been licensed to him. After conferring with SANYO-Verbatim, the RIAA contacted the Indiana State Police. “We like to bring the whole package to law enforcement, so all the police need to do is step in,” Creighton said. The arrest was made on a state highway just outside the SANYO-Verbatim plant.
Detective Mark Durnell, who made the arrest, told the Richmond Palladium-Item newspaper that SANYO-Verbatim “did an honorable thing in reporting this. They could have just taken the money and forgotten about it.”
Fred Austerman, chief financial officer of SANYO-Verbatim, said the company is committed to working with the RIAA and other authorities to make sure only properly licensed material is replicated. “We work very hard to have the systems in place to catch crimes like this,” he said, “and it is good to see how effectively SANYO-Verbatim, with the proper authorities, can make sure no laws are violated.”
To obtain further information on this news release, contact Ross Josephson, sales and marketing manager.