MPAA lauds WTO action against China


MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association of America has lauded a US government decision to initiate a World Trade Organisation (WTO) case against China, based on the country’s failure to comply with international rules pertaining to intellectual property rights and enforcement, and its market access commitments to the WTO.

Ambassador Susan Schwab announced on Tuesday that the Office of the US Trade Representative has filed a request for consultations with the Chinese government, the first formal step in the process for settling disputes between countries that are members of the World Trade Organisation.

“This is a welcome and logical next step in efforts to spur progress in China,” said MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman. “Fair market access and respect for the intellectual property of other countries are basic conditions of membership in the global community, which China committed to live by when it sought acceptance into the WTO. This action is fair, timely and appropriate. “I am optimistic about the potential for a favorable resolution, and the resulting benefits for the US motion picture industry. The Chinese people – like people the world over – love American movies.”

“China is, by virtually any and every measure, the world’s largest marketplace for pirate goods. There is much at stake, not only for U.S. copyright industries, but for China’s own intellectual property-based sector,” he said.

“The motion picture industry applauds the commitment of Ambassador Schwab and her team, as well as the entire Administration, to ensuring fair trade practices for the U.S. copyright industries. I hope the two governments can reach a mutually agreeable settlement to these complaints during the consultation phase.”

The US copyright industries lost an estimated $2.3 billion in revenue to piracy in China in 2005 alone. Nine out of every 10 DVDs sold in China is an illegal copy, says a release.

The core copyright industries are responsible for

6.5 per cent of the United States’ total GDP, and 8.5 percent of workers. Further, the US copyright industries continue to thrive in overseas sales and exports. Core copyright industries account for nearly $111 billion in foreign sales and exports, leading other major industries such as automobiles and auto parts, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. The motion picture industry alone carries a positive trade balance of $9.5 billion.