Hillary Clinton's best-selling autobiography is being sold by copyright thieves in China, who are pretending it is the new memoirs of her husband, former US President BILL.

WODE SHENGHUO (MY LIFE) is selling for 10 yuan ($1.20) with a picture of America's former president on the cover - even though the Chinese-language rights to China have yet to be obtained from publisher ALFRED A KNOPF.

President of the AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE in China, CHARLES M MARTIN, says, "There's sort of a habit developed here that anything...in the print media, is essentially in the public domain and allowed to be 'borrowed', if you will."

An editor at YILIN PRESS comments, "That isn't piracy, it's a completely illegal publication."

The piracy of books, movies, music and software is prevalent throughout China - despite a pledge by Beijing to crack down.

International trade groups predict that theft of copyrights and patents costs Western companies $16 billion (GBP8.8 billion) a year in sales.

03/08/2004 17:27