WTO Tells China To Ease Regulation of US Media

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According to Courthouse News, the World Trade Organization handed the United States a major victory on Wednesday with a ruling that China can't claim exclusive distribution rights to the CDs, DVDs, books, music and other media products made by US companies and sold in China.

The United States filed suit in March 2008, after unsuccessfully trying to get China to lift its hold on distribution. China required all US media producers to route their products through Chinese state-owned companies.

The WTO issued the 464-page ruling last month, but the opinion wasn't released to the public until Wednesday. The WTO panel supported many of the claims made by trade associations representing US media companies such as EMI, Sony BMG, McGraw-Hilland Simon & Schuster.

Hollywood studios like Warner Bros., Disney and Paramount were less successful in challenging China's purported "duopoly," or requirement that US films go through one of two distributors, a restriction not imposed on Chinese films.

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