Wednesday, December 23, 2009

US says copyright piracy in China still 'high'; Sydney Morning Herald, 12/23/09

P. Parameswaran; Sydney Morning Herald; US says copyright piracy in China still 'high':

"Copyright piracy in China remains at "unacceptably high levels," causing "serious harm" to American businesses, the top US trade official said in an annual report to US Congress.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in the mandatory report on China's compliance with its World Trade Organization accession obligations that Beijing was not taking adequate steps to enforce intellectual property rights laws.

He said enforcement of China's copyright protection "remains a significant challenge."

The report cited other "priority" trade issues such as industrial policies, trading rights and distribution services, agriculture and services, but indicated piracy is a key issue where China has made little progress.

"Despite repeated anti-piracy campaigns in China and an increasing number of civil IPR (intellectual property rights) cases in Chinese courts, counterfeiting and piracy remain at unacceptably high levels and continue to cause serious harm to US businesses across many sectors of the economy," the 121-page report said.

The US copyright industries estimate that losses in 2008 due to piracy were about 3.5 billion US dollars for the music recording and software industries alone, it said.

"These figures indicate little or no overall improvement over the previous year."

China is among nations in the annual intellectual property rights blacklist of the US Trade Representative's office.

China acceded to the World Trade Organization eight years ago. The terms of its accession called for China to implement numerous specific commitments over time.

All of China's key commitments should have been phased in three years ago."

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