China pledged to reduce physical goods piracy through a nationwide campaign coordinated at the national, provincial and local level by vice premier, Wu Yi.

WASHINGTON--"It is what it is." That's what the record industry's top "China hand" thinks of the Chinese government's April 21 pledge to introduce copyright reforms.

Late last week, China pledged to reduce physical goods piracy through a nationwide campaign coordinated at the national, provincial and local level by vice premier, Wu Yi.

The Chinese government also pledged that enforcement authorities will criminally prosecute those responsible for physical and online commercial piracy in China.

Neil Turkewitz, executive VP, International for the Recording Industry Assn. of America, says he's not skeptical of China's pledges, "but this was an announcement, not an agreement. The breakthrough will come when something happens."

Turkewitz has traveled to China many times in the last decade to hash out piracy concerns, initially with former RIAA chief and now IFPI chairman, Jay Berman.

After much RIAA negotiating along with the U.S. Trade Representative in the mid-'90s, China initiated a program to eradicate the exportation of pirate CDs "that has been extremely successful," he says.

But domestic piracy--pirated product inside China--as well as market entrance problems remain. Ninety percent of domestic CDs in China are bogus, according to some estimates.

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