US unveils strategy to fight piracy of intellectual property | business | Hindustan Times
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US unveils strategy to fight piracy of intellectual property

business Updated: Jun 22, 2010 22:27 IST

The United States unveiled Tuesday a wide-ranging strategic plan on protection of intellectual property ranging from pharmaceuticals to Hollywood films, pledging to confront governments that fail to crack down on piracy.

"Piracy hurts, it hurts our economy," Vice President Joe Biden said in releasing the 61-page plan drafted a several government agencies.

"It hurts our health and safety. We need to protect our citizens from unsafe products (such as) counterfeit pharmaceuticals."

The initiative aims to crack down on websites that allow illegal downloads of films or music, to "lead by example" in curbing use of pirated software or goods at home, and according to Biden, to "shine a light" on governments that fail to stop piracy.

Victoria Espinel, coordinator of the intellectual property task force, said China -- which has long been singled out for allowing piracy of software, music and other goods -- would remain under close scrutiny for copyright and patent protection.

"We will initiate a comprehensive review of current efforts in support of US businesses that have difficulty enforcing their intellectual property rights in overseas markets, with a particular focus on China," she said.

The plan underscores US efforts to protect US products and service from piracy, citing the range of vulnerable items such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, software, films and music.

"Piracy is theft, clean and simple, it's smash and grab," Biden said. "Theft in every culture should be punished, and intellectual property is no different."