Is Counterfeit Music Behind Our Health Problems?

TThis is Dotted Music’s first post since Christmas Eve. Andrew and I are now sufficiently indulged in eggnog and mulled wine, so we’re bringing you a slightly tongue-in-cheek report on the U.S. Trade Representative’s annual review of so-called Notorious Markets.

If that’s as vague a name as can be, another clue as to the contents of the report is that its being published was reported with glee by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Indeed, it’s a list of “locations, physical or online, in which copyright theft is open, pervasive and undermines the respect for the rule of law”.

The report itself warns that counterfeit products bought at these locations “may pose possible health and safety risks to consumers”.

Could it be? Is that Fame Monster counterfeit the cause of your enduring migraine? Did downloading Metallica and Lou Reed’s Lulu album truly bestow grandma with osteoporosis and a nasty bout of shingles?

Ignoring the possibility that acquiring counterfeit music determines, by karma, health around the world, what on earth is the source of the U.S. Trade Representative’s concern.

Okay, I’m being disingenuous. I know very well that the U.S. Trade Representative is more than likely attributing health and safety problems to the sale of counterfeit cigarettes and pharmaceutical products, but it makes for an appealing headline, if only too fanciful to believe.

I suppose you’d very much like to know about some of those who have made the naughty – I mean Notorious – list.

The usual suspects, such as Megaupload, The Pirate Bay, and Demonoid, are included, but there are also some less obvious inclusions, such as China’s Gougou, Sogou, and Taobao.

Below is a pie chart showing the countries where the notorious digital websites are based:

Samuel Agini is the Editor of Andrew Apanov’s Dotted Music.