updated 5/13/2005 8:33:33 PM ET 2005-05-14T00:33:33

Seven small record stores and convenience marts in Florida and New York City were sued by the Recording Industry Association of America on Thursday for allegedly selling pirated compact disks.

The copyright infringement lawsuits, filed in federal court, accuse the businesses of reselling illegal CDs, or, in some cases, manufacturing counterfeit CDs.

"Making a quick and illegal buck on the backs of musicians, record labels and record stores is no the way to do business," said Brad Buckles, the RIAA's executive vice president for anti-piracy efforts. "These retailers are in effect dealing in stolen property and we intend to hold them strictly accountable."

The lawsuits ask for damages based on the number of pirated CDs for sale.

"RIAA's efforts to stop illegal sales at retail outlets is important to all of the music retailers who operate legally, and who shouldn't have to compete with retailers who operate illegally," said Jim Donio, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers.

An owner of a store being sued said the trouble began more than three years ago when his nephew, the store's manager, bought some CDs for sale in the store. The next day, police seized the CDs.

Later, the RIAA demanded compensation from Radi Massis, owner of the EZ Stop Food Store in Jacksonville. Massis said his attorney haggled the compensation down to $10,000, but he still refused to pay.

"You go to a flea market, and (illegal CDs) are all over the place," Massis said. "How come they're picking on us?"

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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