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U.S. Presses China on Pirating of Music and Movies

From The Washington Post

In a last-ditch effort to defuse a trade dispute, U.S. and Chinese negotiators inched closer to agreement Thursday on ways to curtail the piracy of such intellectual property as recordings, movie videos and computer software.

But U.S. officials said they still want China to make a “down payment” on promises to toughen copyright and patent enforcement by shutting down at least one of the factories cranking out bootleg compact discs, laser discs and CD-ROMs.

Negotiators finished a second day of talks Thursday and planned to continue to meet into the weekend. While China has launched highly publicized raids on street vendors and retailers, it has not moved against any of the country’s 29 CD factories, which are generally joint ventures involving state-owned enterprises or ministries.

The United States has set a Feb. 4 deadline for China to make significant progress in controlling piracy of music, films and software or face increased tariffs on its goods imported by the United States.

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On Dec. 31, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor announced that the United States would impose tariffs of 100% on $2.8 billion worth of imported Chinese-made goods.

China immediately threatened to retaliate against American companies seeking pieces of the Chinese market.

At the same time, however, the Chinese submitted a 15-point plan to U.S. officials to toughen protection of intellectual property.


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