China Signs Anti-piracy Treaty
China, which has the dubious reputation of being the international fulcrum of DVD piracy, has signed a treaty recognizing other countries' copyright laws for movies and audio recordings. Reports indicated that the treaty contains provisions that would allow performers to share in the revenue for movies and records sold abroad and protect them against removal of their credits or the alteration of their performances. It also prohibits the use of clips of their performances in other media, such as the Internet and TV. The treaty was signed in Beijing on Tuesday at the conclusion of the Diplomatic Conference on the Protection of Audiovisual Performances, which saw such performers as Meryl Streep, Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas and others appeal for its adoption. In a statement, SAG-AFTRA co-presidents Ken Howard and Roberta Reardon said, "With new rights to proper compensation for the use of our work and control over the use of our images and likenesses, actors will have important tools to protect themselves around the world." MPAA chief Christopher Dodd referred to the agreement as "the first substantive IP treaty of the 21st century." Reports indicated, however, that the ratification process that will allow it to take effect may take as long as a year.