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27.5 Million Illegal Discs Smashed
The Ministry of Culture yesterday destroyed 27.5 million illegal audio and video recordings in Nanjing, Chongqing, Chongqing and some other major Chinese cities.

The Ministry of Culture yesterday destroyed 27.5 million illegal audio and video recordings in major Chinese cities.

In Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, 11.2 million illegal discs were destroyed.

The recordings are just part of the 43.45 million pirated and smuggled discs that cultural authorities have seized in the first half of this year, said Vice-Minister of Culture Zhao Weisui, speaking in Nanjing.

In May and June this year, the ministry launched a crackdown on markets selling illegal audio-visual products.

Last year, the ministry shut down 277 markets involved in selling pirated and smuggled recordings around the country and destroyed 90 million illegal recordings in all.

However, some business people still gathered at the site of the closed market and sold illegal recordings.

Incomplete statistics show that, during this year's crackdown, 117,000 shops selling audio-visual products have been checked. Some 10,600 stalls without a license were banned, 3,550 licenses were revoked and 252 cases were passed to the police and the public prosecutor.

The crackdown used reports from members of the public and information provided by the 20-odd investigation teams that the ministry sent out in March.

The teams made secret investigations into the local audio-visual markets of capital cities, municipalities and other cities that had serious problems, looking for first-hand information and clues.

For example, the investigation team in Chongqing Municipality made three secret investigations during April and June and found six locations involved in the sale of large quantities of pirated audio and video products. Around 530,000 pirated recordings were seized between 3 pm on June 27 and 2 am the next day.

Similar actions were taken in Kunming in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, where 400,000 illegal audio and video recordings were seized in five different locations. In Yiwu and Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province, around 500,000 illegal discs were confiscated.

China has been fighting against illegal audio and video products since 1989 to protect intellectual property rights.

However, due to the current status of economic development and the lack public awareness of the need for protection of intellectual property rights, there are still a lot of pirated recordings in the market.

But genuine audiovisual products are gaining ground in the market.

(China Daily August 14, 2002)

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