Piracy through music carriers bloomed during the '90s and the '00s due to the development of technologies that made easy the mass production of CDs
(industrially manufactured optical discs) and CD-Rs (optical discs burned by home computers).
The global pirate market was estimated in 1999 to 1.9 billions CDs and cassettes.
During the '90s and the '00s, pirate CDs, through the major production centers based in Southeast Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, etc), Eastern Europe
(Ukraine, Russia, etc) and Latin America (Ecuador, Paraguay, etc) were supplied to the markets of Asia, Europe and America. The production capabilities in these
centers was covering often by thousands of times the needs of local markets, obviously meant to be forwarded to other markets worldwide. Organised trafficking
networks, controlled by people and organizations implicated in other illegal activities, were taking up the transportation of pirate products to the various markets.
CD-R production, as of lower scale, requires smaller investment and is of a more local character. Production and distribution are limited to a scale of city or
country. In Greek pirate market CD-Rs gradually reached at the late '00s to become practically the 100% of illegal music products, displacing CDs and cassettes.
Pirate production of music carriers, on local or international level, is proven to be connected with organized crime. Police raids worldwide, targeting cases of pirate
CDs led to solving other crimes such funding of Russian or Italian mafias (UK, Italy), guns trade (Netherlands) and possession (Greece), blackmailing and
"protection" (Greece), credit card frauds (UK), issue of counterfeit traveling and other documents (Greece), etc.
In global scale, pirate products account for 36% of all music products sold. In Greece the corresponding percentage reached in the late '00s the 70%. It is
characteristic that Greece has the higher pirate rate in Western Europe. Similar to our country's piracy levels can be found only in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia
and Latin America. The percentages in Western Europe and North America are lower than 10% with the exception of Italy varying between 10% and 25%.