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January 09, 2005

China Inc.

U.S. Consular Officer in China , as told to NYT :

Nothing has a higher priority in our trade policy than the fight to protect American intellectual property. It is every bit as important an effort for us as the war against weapons of mass destruction.

This article makes some chilling assertions -

What makes China so troubling for American and other foreign companies is that the country is both a potential rival, with an alternative legal approach to intellectual property that limits their prospects in China and weakens their competitive strength globally, and a haven for pirates and counterfeiters

The generous and optimistic view of China's behavior is that it is a passing phase, and one not all that unusual for countries on the make. European powers once struggled to steal (and even transplant) one another's prime proprietary assets, like Mesoamerican gold, Brazilian rubber and Indonesian cloves. Blue-and-white Delftware was a Dutch attempt to copy China's porcelain works. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, American companies paid industrial spies to steal the designs of British machines. American theatrical producers routinely staged foreign operas and plays without permission; publishers sold dubious editions of English novels. More recently, Taiwan circumvented foreign patents and copyrights early in its post-World War II industrialization drive. And countries in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the former Soviet Union still operate well outside the developed world's norm for intellectual-property protection. Yet no other violators, past or present, match China's potential to change the rules of the world economy through piracy and counterfeiting

Read the whole article (sub req'd - free right now but that might change).   Much of the article includes text from soon-to-be-released
book by Ted Fishman ( China Inc.)

Copyright and intellectual property rights issue will reach it's tipping point very soon.  It's outcome will have far reaching consequences.


January 9, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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