Tuesday, April 10, 2007

U.S. Brings Cases to WTO Against China's Piracy Practices

Sources: China Slams US Over New WTO Complaints, US Reports China to WTO Over Copyright Policy, US Filing Copyright Enforcement Case Against China

The U.S. will bring two cases to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China regarding intellectual property rights and copyright piracy. The complaints are based on China's well-known practice of allowing pirated copies of DVDs of Hollywood movies and U.S. books and music to be sold for as little as $1 per copy in shops throughout China. China's piracy and counterfeiting of U.S. and other foreign products has been causing controversy for a long time now. U.S. officials claim that China's lack of protection of intellectual property rights has resulted in billions of dollars of loss to U.S. companies. The purpose of the complaints is to get China to strengthen its enforcement of copyright and trademark laws.

The rampant practice of piracy in China is due to the government's blocking foreign companies from accessing its markets. The second complaint of the U.S. will seek to bring down China's strict trade barriers which are keeping legitimate U.S. products out of the country. China's officials responded to the news of the cases against its piracy practices with threats that the cases would likely damage bilateral ties with the U.S.

Question: Is the U.S. right to challenge China's policies in controlling its media?

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