At sea over piracy

Biz to Bush: China not doing enough on issue

WASHINGTON — The entertainment biz warned the Bush administration Wednesday that trade relations with China could go back to the deep freeze if Beijing doesn’t do more to stop the pirating of American films and music.

During a hearing before trade officials in Washington, Intl. Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) prexy Eric Smith said millions — if not billions — of dollars are being lost annually to copyright piracy in China. The IIPA reps Hollywood studios, the music industry, publishing companies, software ventures and drug manufacturers.

“Until China wakens to the reality that it must move criminally against pirates with significant deterrent penalties, we do not see China’s piracy dropping significantly, as has happened in other countries in the region,” Smith said.

Weight of the world

China has come under pressure to crack down on piracy since joining the World Trade Organization late last year. If it doesn’t do so in the months to come, the WTO can impose sanctions. The Bush administration could ask for such action when submitting its annual trade report Dec. 11.

There also are concerns that China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation is having a hard time implementing the terms of China’s entry into the WTO, which include increasing the number of American films allowed in each year.

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