Senators urge international copyright crackdown

U.S. Senate leaders have urged the Bush administration to increase pressure on Russia and China to respect copyright law, warning that those nations have become havens for movie and software piracy, CNET News reported.

James Mendenhall, the acting general counsel for the U.S. Trade Representative, said his colleagues are hosting a delegation from China to talk in part about copyright law. “We’re going to be issuing a request through WTO rules seeking additional information from China on the status of enforcement in China,” Mendenhall said.

Both Russia and China have been cited as top copyright offenders. A report in April placed the countries on a “priority watch list”— along with Brazil, Israel and Indonesia.

Piracy in China alone costs U.S. companies between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion a year. Industry estimates place Russia’s infringement rates last year at 80 percent for motion pictures, 66 percent for records and music, 87 percent for business software, and 73 percent for entertainment software.

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