Association of American Publishers president Pat Schroeder said she was encouraged by reports from the U.S.—China trade talks that the Chinese government has agreed to more vigorously enforce anti-piracy laws. Illegal copying of U.S. copyrighted materials in China is estimated to cost American companies more than $2 billion annually, including losses of about $40 million for book publishers. Schroeder said the AAP "commend[s] China for its expressed commitment to reducing piracy, making its market increasingly hospitable for both foreign and domestic publishers."
Both the AAP and the International Intellectual Property Alliance said it was especially important that China agreed to lower the monetary criminal thresholds, making it easier for police, prosecutors and judges to take actions against copyright piracy on a commercial scale. The IIPA had made criminal prosecutions of pirates a high priority, since, to date, few pirates have been arrested.
China's promise to strengthen its protection of intellectual property comes at a particularly sensitive time, the AAP noted, since the country is expected to open its markets in the areas of trading rights and distribution to foreign publishers beginning in December.