China signs Web piracy deal with U.S. movie group

Society Materials 15 December 2006 14:01 (UTC +04:00)

(news.yahoo.com) - China on Friday agreed with the Motion Picture Association of America and other groups to do more to tackle copyright piracy on the Internet, the official Xinhua news agency said. China's National Copyright Administration said the country would investigate and punish those suspected of online intellectual property abuses by the movie association as well as other groups such as the Association of American Publishers.

The Chinese and foreign sides would also keep in close touch with each other and exchange information, Xinhua said.

The Business Software Alliance and Britain's Publishers Association were two other groups that signed the agreement, it added.

Piracy is one of the trade issues that has poisoned trade relations between China and the United States, and has been a focus of two days of talks in Beijing, led on the U.S. side by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

On Beijing streets, pirate DVDs cost about $1, much cheaper than legitimate copies sold in wealthy countries, while cyberspace is becoming a growing source of piracy where people habitually download unauthorized music, software and films.

Piracy costs U.S. industry about $2.3 billion a year in revenues for films, music and digital goods, U.S. officials have said.