China gets serious about piracy

Responding to world pressure over widespread piracy of intellectual property, China has jailed nine people for up to 13 years for selling fake DVDs and other copyright-protected items. It was the biggest anti-piracy crackdown yet by the Chinese government and a big win for anti-piracy efforts worldwide.

Penalties increased in China in mid-2005 after several governments complained to Chinese leaders about the open selling of pirated goods within its borders. The current Chinese initiative was launched July 25 against producers of pirated goods such as movies, software, designer clothes and sports equipment.

Four people were sentenced to 13 years in prison for illegal piracy in the cities of Ningbo in the east and Xiamen in the southeast, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Others received lesser prison terms and fines.

Last month, the Chinese government said its officers destroyed nearly 13 million pirated CDs, DVDs and computer software in the campaign.