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US Releases Global Piracy List

Robin Li, Baidu's chairman and chief executive officer, introduces the company's popular Internet search engine while delivering his speech at the Baidu Technology Innovation Conference held in Beijing (file photo - September 2, 2010)

The United States has placed China's top Internet search engine on its list of so-called "notorious markets" that sell pirated or counterfeit goods.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative unveiled its annual list of more than 30 websites or physical markets that sell goods or materials that are protected by copyrights or patents, including music and clothing.

The USTR says the Chinese search engine Baidu provides direct links to pirated and counterfeit goods sold on websites. The agency also says China's largest retail website, Taoboa, sells copyright-infringing goods on its site.

Other websites on the list include China's, Swedish-based ThePirateBay, IsoHunt in Canada and Russian-based Rutracker.

The many physical markets cited by the USTR include Beijing's Silk Market and personal computer malls in Beijing and Shanghai that sell computers loaded with illegal software. Other physical markets engaged in selling pirated or counterfeit goods are in Argentina, Ecuador, Hong Kong, India, Paraguay and Ukraine.

The report says the economy of a whole city in Paraguay, Cuidad del Este, is based in part on the trafficking of counterfeit and copyright-infringing goods - especially electronics.