Glickman: Studios support U.S. on China


Hollywood is threatening to raise the stakes in the war of words over piracy and trade restrictions in China, with MPA CEO Dan Glickman saying that the studios back the recent U.S. complaint over Chinese product piracy and could choose to boycott the fast-developing media market in protest against barriers to entry (HR 4/25).

In an interview, Glickman said it was "always a possibility" that Hollywood could divest from China in response to the quota that effectively limits to 20 the number of imported films allowed into the nation each year and policies that bar majority foreign ownership of movie theaters.

"All of our companies support the U.S. government's action, and China ought to know that," he said late Monday night while en route to Washington from Los Angeles.

Glickman's comments came as China's top trade envoy warned Washington on Tuesday that the complaints the U.S. filed to the World Trade Organization on April 9 could harm relations. The U.S. accuses Beijing of violating trade commitments by failing to stop widespread product piracy and blocking imports of U.S.-produced media.

"The adverse impact generated by this would be huge," China's Vice Premier Wu Yi said in Beijing at the opening of a government forum on intellectual property rights protection. Wu decried Washington's move as ignoring China's progress in fighting product piracy and said it violated an agreement by leaders of the countries to settle such disputes through dialogue.

Beijing will "actively respond" to the cases in the WTO, she said. "We will fight to the last minute."

Glickman added that U.S. trade negotiators have asked the MPA for data about piracy in China, where the lobby estimates show that 93% of the movies sold on disc are illegal. "The MPA is actively engaged in this case," he said.