EC: China accounts for 93% of pirate Euro CDs


BRUSSELS -- The IFPI has called on the European Union to add its weight to the World Trade Organization challenge against Beijing to reduce China's piracy rates.

The international trade body's discourse comes as European Commission figures reveal that China accounted for 93% of all pirate discs seized by European customs officials.

"These statistics underscore the urgent need for the EU to step up pressure on China before the WTO. China is producing and exporting millions of pirate products around the world. This has to stop," said Frances Moore, IFPI regional director for Europe, in a statement issued today.

China is currently facing a WTO case brought by the United States, challenging the country's weak copyright protection and enforcement system. The EU joined the consultation phase of the WTO case as a third party at the end of April, but IFPI wants it to become a co-complainant alongside the U.S.

The Commission -- the EU's executive authority -- revealed that China accounted for 93% of the CDs and DVDs seized in 2006, up from 51% in 2005. The overall figures for disc seizures were also up, leaping 139% last year, according to Brussels' figures.

The IFPI estimates that a third of all CDs purchased in 2005 were pirate, 1.2 billion pirate CDs in total. It says the global traffic of pirate CDs was worth $4.5 billion in 2005 based on pirate prices.