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Administration cites China and Russia for copyright violations

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Bush administration cited China and Russia for widespread copyright piracy in an annual report Friday that highlighted intellectual property rights problems around the world.

The administration said it would keep up pressure on both countries to halt piracy of American movies, music and computer programs.

``Rampant counterfeiting and piracy problems continue to plague both China and Russia, indicating a critical need for stronger intellectual property protection,'' the report said.

In the case of China, the administration said it was still considering bringing a case at the World Trade Organization and would also conduct a special review that would examine how China's provincial governments were enforcing copyright protections.

``The administration continues to use our trade tools in strong and innovative ways to press China for better progress on intellectual property problems,'' U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said in a statement.

The administration was disappointed that Chinese President Hu Jintao did not make greater commitments to crack down on rampant piracy when he met with President Bush last week.

The report said that while Russia has taken some steps to halt the piracy of computer, movie and music discs, high levels of copyright infringement remain, particularly at Russian-based optical disc factories and Web sites.

This year's report placed 48 countries on various watch lists, which means the administration will conduct special consultations in an effort to get them to correct perceived deficiencies in copyright enforcement.

In addition to China and Russia, the 11 other countries singled out for the closest scrutiny on the priority watch list were Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Reacting to the report, Dan Glickman, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, said the administration needed to keep up pressure on both China and Russia.

``We are particularly concerned about our dual problems in China _ rampant piracy and the restrictions on legitimate products,'' he said in a statement.
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