Monday, October 29, 2007

China Dragging Feet on Piracy Issues

Sources: US Says China Slows Anti-Piracy Cooperation Since WTO Complaint, US-China Talks on Piracy Back on Track

The U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Jon W. Dudas reported recently that although China has increased cooperation in certain areas with regard to fighting piracy since the U.S. filed complaints to the World Trade Organization earlier this year, there has been a marked slow-down in some areas of cooperation. Last April, the U.S. filed complaints accusing China of failing to take reasonable steps to cease copying of movies, music, and various goods. The complaints have strained relations between the countries. China is the leading source of pirated goods - just last year over 80% of pirated products seized at U.S. borders came from China.

One step that the U.S. is urging China to take is to eliminate requirements that pirates be caught with a certain minimum amount of counterfeited products before sanctions can apply. Even then, many offense are punishable by fines rather than jail time. The U.S. claims that these penalties are so minimal as to lack any real deterrant effect.

1) How can China change its laws to more effectively decrease its piracy rates?
2) What effect on China's economy and growth might an abolishment of piracy practices have?

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