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SOFTWARE PIRACY

Hong Kong is protesting the U.S. Trade Representative's decision to keep it on the U.S. intellectual copyright watch list despite the territory's aggressive warnings, raids and legal crackdown on software piracy.

To some extent Hong Kong's high-profile anti-piracy campaign may have backfired, at least in the short-term. The latest raids - including the world's largest software piracy haul last month that netted the arrest of a customs officer and more than $90 million in illegal compact discs and equipment - display vigilance but also provide evidence of a continuing problem. Hong Kong is also still in the process of convincing the world that its borders with China are relatively impermeable. Despite its disappointment at being on the watch list, Hong Kong should keep up the pressure, boost enforcement, enact tougher laws and boost disincentives until its compliance and track record are widely recognized.

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