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Monday, May 20, 2002
U.S. official call on Ukraine to do more to protect copyrights


The U.S. Embassy in Kiev and a Ukrainian copyright protection organization appealed to the government on Friday to strengthen efforts to solve copyright violations. There are no plans to introduce additional penalties against Ukraine, which is already facing U.S. trade sanctions because of its inability to crack down on piracy, Emy Mason, a representative of the U.S. Embassy said.

She spoke at a news conference organized by the Ukrainian Association of Intellectual Property (UAIP) in the capital Kiev, which organizes seminars and conducts education programs about the effects of piracy.

Washington has accused Ukraine of failing to stop the illegal production of tens of millions of CDs, which the U.S. record industry estimates costs it some dlrs 200 million annually. Seeking to pressure Ukraine to eradicate CD piracy, the U.S. imposed trade sanctions in January, restricting textile, steel and other metal exports.

The government estimated that sanctions may cost Ukraine dlrs 470 million annually.

"Removal of sanctions requires a significant demonstration," that Ukraine is tackling piracy, Mason told journalists.

She said that Ukraine's legislation defending copyrights is adequate in general with minor exceptions, but is not good in the field of CD production.

Mason said that parts of CD production are not controlled and sanctions for those found guilty of piracy often are insignificant, under the Ukrainian law.

Ukraine's previous parliament adopted the bill to control CD production in mid-January after numerous failures to pass it last year. However, U.S. trade representatives have said the bill doesn't go far enough to stop the problem.

Ukrainian government delegations are in constant dialogue with U.S. officials on ways to minimize or cancel the sanctions.


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