“Today, a WTO panel found that a number of deficiencies in China’s IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) regime are incompatible with its WTO obligations,” acting U.S. Trade Representative Peter Allgeier said in a statement. “We will engage vigorously with China on appropriate corrective actions to ensure that U.S. rights holders obtain the benefits of this decision.”
The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a coalition of U.S. music, movie, book and software industry groups, conservatively estimates that piracy in China costs them more than $3.7 billion in lost sales.
The WTO ruling means China and other nations “can’t simply go through the motions” of protecting intellectual property, but must provide effective results, Neil Turkewitiz, an executive vice president at the Recording Industry Association of America, said in a statement.
The United States persuaded the dispute settlement panel that China violated WTO rules by barring copyright protection for movies, music and books that have not been approved by state censors for legitimate sale, Allgeier said.
“China restricts access to many legitimate titles, but that doesn’t stop the pirated distribution of virtually all U.S. films in China,” Dan Glickman, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement.
The United States failed to persuade the WTO panel on one main point of its case: that Chinese copyright pirates and counterfeiters have no fear of criminal prosecution because the government’s threshold for bringing a case is too high.
That was “disappointing,” but the panel established a market-based analytical approach that should help WTO members avoid or resolve future disputes over obstacles to criminal enforcement of counterfeiting and piracy.
Both the United States and China can appeal the panel ruling, the results of which emerged when a confidential preliminary report was released in October.
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 6:26 PM
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Tags: Chinese Cities, Copyrights And Trademarks, Intellectual Property Rights, International Intellectual Property Alliance, Piracy In China, Report, software industry, United States, Washington, World Trade Organization