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China Court Awards Token Piracy Fine

22 Dec, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A Beijing court has ordered a local DVD retailer to pay almost $21,000 in damages and costs to five Motion Picture Association members for the sale of pirated movies.

With a piracy rate for movies in China around 93% and representing about $1 billion in lost revenues, the Beijing 2nd Intermediate People's Court verdict against the Yu Hao Qing DVD retailer and parent company, Beijing Century Hai Hong Trading Co. Ltd., would appear insignificant.

Frank Rittman, VP and regional legal counsel, Asia-Pacific, for the MPA, said the decision represented a “milestone” in the China's laborious effort to educate people about copyright infringement.

He cited limited Chinese consumer access to foreign movies as a catalyst for piracy.

“Unquestionably, one of the foundations of China's piracy problems is the lack of market access accorded foreign films,” said Rittman. “A more open market is a prerequisite for reducing piracy.”

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