Chinese court hands jail term to fake DVD seller

Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:27am EDT
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court has handed a one-year jail term to a Beijing man who sold fake DVDs, making him the first in the city to be sent to prison for the crime of intellectual piracy, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Zhou Cheng, 40, was also fined 10,000 yuan ($1,430) for selling fake DVDs at a shop in Beijing's Chaoyang district where more than 10,000 discs were found, the report said.

China, where fake goods from software to designer handbags are sold on street corners, in markets and in upscale shopping districts, has been struggling to tackle intellectual property piracy and is especially keen to clean up Beijing ahead of the Olympics in August.

China's top court has lowered the threshold to prosecute those found manufacturing or selling fake goods, and anyone who makes 500 or more copies of movies, CDs, software or other products can face up to seven years in jail, the report said.

China has also launched rewards of 100,000 yuan and more for citizens who snitch on copyright violators and set up a hotline and email address for residents to send tips.

($1 = 7.009 Yuan)

(Reporting by Lindsay Beck; Editing by David Fogarty)