US & China Crack Down on Product Piracy

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Before you try to buy that counterfeit knockoff to save some bucks, know that two of the largest governments in the world might be keeping a closer eye on eye on you. Yesterday, the US made several moves to block web sites that were known to sell counterfeit items and goods that infringed on intellectual property rights. China added that they were joining the fight by cracking down in illegal products from software to music.

The World Trade Organization has already reprimanded China for not doing enough to enforce copyrights, patents and the like within their country. This new six month campaign will not only focus on tech goods, it will also try to strengthen commerce relations with the US, Japan and Europe. Some trade groups estimate that China’s booming counterfeit economy has cost manufacturers billions of dollars a year. China has already made some concessions to try to keep false products out of their stores, like requiring PCs to come pre-installed with official software. As of last year, 98 percent of computers in China were operating with licensed software, up from 87.7 percent just three years ago, according to the National Copyright Association. However, the Business Software Alliance stays over three-fourths of software in China is copied illegally from some source. (More on Tough New Anti-Piracy Legislation on the Way?)

Back in the US, the government shut down 82 websites that sold counterfeit goods.  The courts allowed the government to seize domain names after undercover officials bought illegal goods from these companies. No word if either country will enact harsher penalties for those caught dealing the goods or if they are going to be cracking down on people who download illegal goods for personal use, not profit.

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