SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 550 (Padilla) Sunday. The new law will help reduce music and movie piracy by allowing inspections and verification to ensure that large-scale disc replicating plants are complying with California anti-piracy laws.

“I applaud Governor Brown for signing SB 550. With this new law we are defending California’s entertainment industry,” said Senator Padilla (D-Pacoima). “The crime of illegal mass reproduction of music and movies is a serious and growing problem. Last year, more than 820,000 illegal discs were seized by law enforcement in California,” said Senator Padilla.

“This new law is about protecting California jobs. Those who illegally replicate CDs and DVDs undermine our economy and California’s role as a global leader in music and film. Illegal replication of CDs and DVDs steals revenue from everyone in the entertainment industry, from blue collar workers to those who walk the red carpet,” added Senator Padilla.

The law takes effect January 1, 2012, and allows inspections of CD and DVD replication plants to ensure compliance with anti-piracy laws and identify the CD and DVD plants responsible for pressing fraudulent discs. In addition, the law allows only those authorities whose primary responsibilities include the investigation of high technology or intellectual property piracy to inspect CD and DVD plants to confirm that the discs include source identification information, a sort of digital fingerprint, as already required by existing law. The law allows the state to impose steep fines when violations are discovered.

Those who illegally market pirated discs are increasingly turning to large-scale disc replicators to reproduce high quality, illegal copies. These discs are then sold to unsuspecting merchants who believe they are purchasing authentic products.

Illegal discs flood the market and compete unfairly with genuine products and undercut legitimate businesses. Disc piracy results in diminished tax revenue and job loss in California. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimates that the economic losses in Los Angeles County exceed $3 billion annually and deprives state and local governments of nearly half a billion dollars in tax revenue each year.

Senator Alex Padilla represents the 850,000 residents of the 20th State Senate District which includes most of the San Fernando Valley in the City of Los Angeles.