Will China Scuttle Its Pirates?

American trade officials in Beijing earlier this summer were treated to an unusual bit of street theater. Knowing the officials would be watching, 23 Chinese police and judges garbed in green military uniforms assembled in front of the hotel complex where the U.S. delegation was preparing for talks on intellectual-property rights. Then the posse split off into motorcades and set off on raids on alleged software pirates. "It was like having a mariachi band serenading you below the balcony," says Stephanie Mitchell, vice-president of the U.S. Business Software Alliance (BSA).

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