From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shop Owners Protest Video Crackdown: About 500 video-rental shop owners burned tapes of U.S. films outside the unofficial U.S. mission in Taipei on Friday to demand that Washington ease its pressure on Taiwan to crack down on film piracy. Protest leader Hsueh Yu-yuan said the shop owners were harassed by police during a recent crackdown, which came after U.S. officials threatened retaliatory action against Taiwan over copyright violations. The protesters claimed that they had paid royalties to U.S. film makers but police confiscated authorized tapes and laser discs anyway. The protesters said the number of video shops has fallen to 2,200 from 8,000 five years ago because of the crackdown.

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