Chinese Fakes: Tough to Police

The country is being told to crack down on piracy of products and intellectual property, but the problem is a global one that will be tough to stamp out

On Apr. 6, Beijing announced that it would lower the threshold for the number of bootleg copies seized that would trigger criminal charges. The move is part of an effort to prosecute sellers of pirated CDs and DVDs. But it probably won't impress U.S. motion picture and recording industry executives, who have been lobbying Washington to put more pressure on China to combat rampant piracy and counterfeiting. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said the U.S. will file two formal complaints with the World Trade Organization on Apr. 10 alleging that China is not doing enough to protect intellectual property. The second case concerns market barriers that the U.S. contends keep American books, films, and music out of China. "Piracy and counterfeiting levels in China remain unacceptably high," Schwab said Apr. 9 in announcing the new cases: "Inadequate protection of intellectual property rights in China costs U.S. firms and workers billions of dollars each year."

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