The prosecutor's office in Thessaloniki has ordered police to clamp down on the sale of pirated music CDs after firms responsible for protecting intellectual rights clubbed together this week to try to stop illegal traders, it was revealed yesterday. The majority of CDs sold in Greece are bootlegged copies and it is thought that this trade has cost the state almost 1 billion euros in lost taxes over a nine-year period. Almost 500,000 copied CDs were seized by the police last year and 850 people were arrested. The Greek branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which deals with copyright issues, believes that courts are too lenient on street traders who sell pirated CDs. «Most of them appeal their sentences and are never seen again,» IFPI spokesperson Irene Tsiliri told Kathimerini.