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Valenti Pressures China To respect Copyrights

Jack Valenti is winging to China this week in a bid to convince Chinese officials the importance of curbing copyright theft.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America prexy’s trip comes following U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor’s decision to set a Feb. 4 deadline demanding action from Chinese officials against rampant piracy of videos, music and computer software. Kantor is threatening to ban more than $1 billion in Chinese imports unless action is taken.

Copyright industries in the U.S. claim they are losing upwards of $830 million annually as a result of Chinese piracy. According to the MPAA, Chinese factories routinely reproduce copies of pirated Hollywood films on laser discs and export them to other countries.

Valenti said he will “most respectfully convey to the Chinese officials how important it is that China protect the intellectual property of all countries.” He warned that unless China acts, “the result would be a gradual but relentless decline in the ability of creative products to survive in that part of the world.”

Valenti called China a “great nation, but no nation can lay claim to greatness if its economic landscape is ravaged by the lack of protection for intellectual property.”

Accompanying the MPAA head on the trip will be a group that includes Recording Industry Assn. of America chairman Jay Berman; Eric Smith, head of the Intl. Intellectual Property Alliance; and Robert Holleyman, president of the Business Software Alliance.

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