IFPI and the largest optical disc manufacturer in Russia, the Ural Electronic Plant (UEP), have signed an agreement that aims to help the plant produce only legitimate audio and video discs. The cooperation agreement with IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide, is the first of its type to be signed by a Russian plant. The IFPI hopes that other optical disc manufacturers in Russia will follow suit. Russia has the world’s second biggest pirate market after China and is a mass exporter of pirate discs originating from the country’s manufacturing plants. The agreement sets the rules that will help the UEP to ensure that products manufactured at the plant are legitimate. Under the agreement, the UEP will inform IFPI about the purchase and installation of any new equipment used to manufacture optical discs. Representatives from IFPI will be given access to the plant to obtain samples of its manufactured products. The UEP will also notify IFPI of any orders where doubts are raised as to their legality and both parties undertake to cooperate to determine the nature of such orders. A key part of the agreement is that the UEP will undertake the necessary actions to enable it to participate in the International Recording Media Association’s (IRMA’s) Anti-Piracy Compliance Programme. Lauri Rechardt, IFPI Director of Litigation and Licensing said: “We hope that this agreement will facilitate the growth of the legitimate music market in Russia. The UEP’s commitment to take these measures to ensure the legality of the products it manufactures is an important step in the right direction.” Oksana Bozehnok, spokeswoman for the UEP said: “The agreement will promote the development of a legitimate manufacturing source for optical discs within the Russian Federation.” Bosehnok expressed the hope that other Russian optical disc manufacturers will follow UEP’s example. Prior to the signing of the Agreement a number of issues which were in dispute between IFPI and the UEP were settled.