May 10, 2010

China Reports Software Piracy Decline

On Monday, China said that software piracy declined slightly last year, but admitted the thriving market was still valued at nearly $19 billion.

A survey funded by the State Intellectual Property Office found a total of $18.9 billion was spent on pirated software last year, accounting for 12 percent of the country's total software market.

According to the survey covering over 4,600 individual and corporate respondents across the country, which was carried out by Internet research firm Chinalabs, software knockoffs were valued at $1.4 billion in 2008.

"Measures to protect intellectual property rights were forcefully implemented and personal computer makers have almost completed a project to pre-install authorized operating systems", the agency told AFP news.

China's counterfeit and piracy market is the largest in the world, and copyright infringement in the country has been a sticking point in Sino-U.S. relations.

Last month the U.S. government said that the level of theft of copyrights and patents in China "remains unacceptable" and kept Beijing on a "priority watch list" for intellectual property protection.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives said in its annual report that China's enforcement regime "remains largely ineffective and non-deterrent" and that U.S. industries ranging from software and movies to publishing to footwear "report severe losses" due to piracy in China.


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