Piracy in China

Post ImageThere always seems to be something in the news about China (and to a lesser extent, India) these days, and it’s usually about how China is changing in one way or another. Even articles that seem to talk about a lack of change really talk about change:

But one thing never seems to change, and it’s as obvious on street corners today as it was six years ago. In 1999, when “Star Wars Episode 1–The Phantom Menace” debuted, it was quickly pirated on DVDs that sold throughout China for next to nothing.

Fast forward to May 2005–four years after China joined the World Trade Organization and embraced its stringent rules on intellectual property rights. When “Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith” opened in U.S. theaters, copies again hit the streets of Beijing within days. Sold out of bicycle baskets by roving vendors, available in mom-and-pop retail stores everywhere, the counterfeit DVDs retailed for about 75 cents each.

Yes, piracy is a big problem in the world, and not just in China though the problem is particularly evident there. Why is it bad though? Change!

What’s standing in the way of better intellectual property rights enforcement? “It’s not a plot,” says Bruce Lehman, former commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the chairman of the International Intellectual Property Institute. “It’s the result of a system in transition.”

It’s a pretty safe bet actually, when you hear China, just guess change!

Read: CNET News.com

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