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Wednesday, August 29, 2001
China launches anti-piracy effort (!)

Outside the Ping Pong Pavilion of the Zhuhai Athletic Center stadium, 15 industrial-strength wood chippers all in a row did just what they were trotted out for Tuesday afternoon - made minced plastic out of 16 million counterfeit CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMS. "This is one of the most important issues facing us today,'' said Shi Zongyuan, the official in charge of anti-piracy efforts in southern China. ``Getting rid of pirated CDs will give us a much-needed economic boost.". China mounts such a spectacle every few months - though usually on a smaller scale than Tuesday - to show that it is serious about stopping rampant product piracy.

The CDs, most of them unlabeled, were still in the containers in which they were smuggled, whether it was plastic shrink wrap or hollowed-out false bottoms of boxes. The trucks' rear doors were open, giving the sense of an entire landscape of confiscated discs. After they were chopped up, the shards of discs were hauled away by the truckload to an uncertain future. Chinese officials couldn't say whether they would be recycled, or simply dumped..

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