Moscow police fight copyright piracy

Police in Moscow have launched citywide sting operations aimed at shutting down producers and vendors of counterfeit music, film and software, in the latest clampdown on rampant piracy that threatens Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

"We can already speak of results," said Filip Zolotnitsky, spokesman for Moscow's Economic Crime Police. "Thousands of discs have already been seized and several factories have been shut down."

The operation - officially called "Counterfeit" - began on Monday and is expected to last two weeks.

Zolotnitsky noted that an underground plant pirating Microsoft software in the Moscow region had been shut down and thousands of discs impounded.

Russia has repeatedly said it aims to clamp down on counterfeiting in the face of tough U.S. and international criticism.

While Russian intellectual property legislation has largely been brought into line with international norms, enforcement is lax and stalls piled with fresh copies of the latest Hollywood movies can be found on street corners and in underpasses throughout the capital, the AP reports.


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