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China Rebukes Piracy Image, Ups Seizures

18 Apr, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

China, stung by last week's pro-piracy complaint from the United States to the World Trade Organization, has apparently redoubled efforts aimed at both dealing with and minimizing the issue.

Chinese authorities April 18 announced the destruction of 42 million pirated movie DVDs, music CDs and related computer software and illegal publications in the government's revamped campaign to curtail rampant theft of intellectual property, according to a report from the state council, patent office of the People's Republic of China.

A similar action last month carried out by police and government officials reportedly netted 1.8 million counterfeit DVDs and CDs and led to the arrest of 13 people and confiscation of 30 disc replication machines.

And befitting the altruistic ideals of the communist super power, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that “workers across the country” destroyed 30 million smuggled and pirated DVDs, CDs and software, in addition to 11 million copies of pirated and illegally published books and magazines.

“Through the act of destruction, we wish to show to the world the firm determination of the Chinese government in protecting intellectual property,” said Long Xinmin, chief of the state press.

Long said the campaign also reportedly was designed to “improve the awareness of the general public in fighting against pornography and illegal publications.”

A longtime problem for Hollywood studios, the Motion Picture Association of America claimed studios lost an estimated $2.3 billion in revenue to Chinese piracy in 2005. It says nine out of 10 DVDs sold in the country is an illegal copy.

A spokesperson for the state intellectual property office said piracy is an international issue and that China had “taken a lot of steps” to protect intellectual property rights.

The property office said China destroyed 73 million illegally copied DVDs, CDs, software and books in 2006.

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