Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Stephen K. Shiu

First Page



Annually, Hollywood loses roughly $3.5 billion dollars in revenue to optical disc piracy in Taiwan. Optical disc piracy involves the camcording or copying of motion pictures onto laserdiscs, digital versatile discs, or video compact discs. Through the U.S. Trade Representative's satellite enforcement offices in Taiwan and coordination with the Taiwanese legislature and enforcement agencies, the U.S. motion picture companies have been able to influence some change in the frequency and severity of optical disc piracy in Taiwan. This can be mainly attributed to the Motion Picture Association of America's alliance with the U.S. Trade Representative in placing Taiwan on numerous "Special 301" lists, which can have a negative effect on the Taiwan's trade relationship with the United States, public image, and ability to attract foreign investors. The reduction of optical disc piracy in Taiwan is impeded by accession to the World Trade Organization, cultural hurdles, weak domestic film industry and self interest. Nevertheless, U.S. Copyright industries can still influence change externally, by continued pressure under "Special 301"; and, internally, by incentivizing Taiwan businesses and building relationships with governmental and independent intellectual property organizations.