Feds take on Ukraine piracy

Nation fails to meet crackdown deadline, officials say

WASHINGTON — Hollywood commended the Bush administration Tuesday for standing tough with the Ukraine and threatening trade sanctions if the country doesn’t keep its promise to stop the proliferation of pirated movies and music.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America and the Recording Industry Assn. of America thanked new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick for designating Ukraine a “Priority Foreign County,” allowing the U.S. to impose sanctions.

Deadline not met

Ukraine was under a March 1 deadline to crack down on the production and export of copyrighted products to Western and Eastern Europe, as well as central Asia. According to Zoellick’s office, the deadline was not met.

“I applaud … Zoellick for swift attention to the ongoing, intolerable treatment of intellectual property in Ukraine,” MPAA prexy Jack Valenti said.

RIAA prexy-CEO Hilary Rosen likewise welcomed the move. “President Bush and his trade team have made clear that they will not sit by and tolerate the massive and organized theft of U.S. intellectual property. I salute them for their vision, support and decisiveness,” Rosen said.

Last year, Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma and former President Bill Clinton hammered out a series of steps Ukraine would take by the March 1 deadline.

RIAA exec veep Neil Turkewitz said Ukraine has “utterly failed to meet such obligations” and continued to play host to some of the world’s leading pirate manufacturers and distributors.

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