[A-List] US imperialism: Taiwan and Indonesia
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Wed Mar 20 06:03:49 MST 2002
Taiwan, Indonesia protect intellectual property
Asia Times, March 21, 2002
TAIPEI - Threatened with sanctions by the United States, Taiwan and Indonesia have separately announced measures to combat violations of intellectual property rights (IPR).
The Taiwan Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced on Tuesday that it has stepped up the prosecution of piracy and IPR violations. Meanwhile, Indonesia said importers of reduplication machines for recorded films and music will now be required to have a special identification number (NPIK).
In its annual IPR protection review last year, the US Trade Representative placed Taiwan together with 15 other US trading partners on its Special 301 "priority watch list". Another 32 countries were named on a lower-level watch list. Under the Special 301 provisions of the US 1989 Omnibus Trade Law, countries that the United States deems unsatisfactory in addressing its concerns could be subject to trade sanctions.
Rampant compact-disc (CD) piracy in Taiwan was the primary factor leading to the island being elevated from the Special 301 "watch list" to the "priority watch list" in 2001. The United States has also threatened to impose sanctions on Indonesia if it failed to reduce piracy of recorded music and films.
In Taipei, an MOJ official said that the ministry anticipates making major headway before the end of this month to prevent being blacklisted by the US government. The official said that the cabinet has drafted a plan to combat piracy, calling this year an "IPR protection action year".
He added that the MOJ will continue to monitor, investigate and prosecute criminals who use the Internet to carry out crimes against IPRs across national boundaries, citing as an example two Malaysians who were tracked down as the alleged masterminds behind Movie88.com, a website that streamed copyrighted movies illegally at US$1 each. Some physical equipment for running that site was located in Taiwan, where the website's operators said the local laws governing movies cannot adequately protect foreign copyrighted works because of a supposed loophole. However, the MOJ stressed that the operators have apparently misinterpreted Taiwan's laws and have seriously damaged the island's international image.
In Jakarta, Aang Kanaan, import director at the Industry and Trade Ministry, said his office has received requests from associations of video recording companies to crack down on the rampant piracy of recorded film and music. The condition requiring the NPIK will apply not only to importers of reduplication machines but also to importers of the basic material for the production of optical disks, Kanaan said.
Henry Sulistyo, secretary general of the Indonesian Intellectual Property Right Society, said that with the NPIK, control over the imports of film and music reduplication equipment will be easier. Sulistyo said re-registration should be made for all film and music reduplication machines.
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