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Copyright Holders Sign China Piracy Agreement 32

Posted by Hemos
from the the-devil-is-in-the-details- dept.
eldavojohn writes "On Friday, a whole bunch of associations signed an agreement with China to combat internet piracy. From the article, "China's National Copyright Administration said the country would investigate and punish those suspected of online intellectual property abuses by the movie association as well as other groups such as the Association of American Publishers." From another article, I found that not only was it the MPA but also the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Association of American Publishers (AAP) and The Publishers Association (TPA) of the U.K."
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Copyright Holders Sign China Piracy Agreement

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  • So these associations basically just signed the death warrants of hundreds of people?
    • by TFGeditor (737839)
      As long as they are selling pirated goods and hawking them via spam, I don't see the problem here. Death to all spammers, right?

      • by Kardall (886095)
        Honestly, I have never recieved Piracy Spam. I get tonnes of Viagra and the latest inside trading information on very informative products like.... Viagra stocks... lol

        Maybe it only affects those IN China, and not people in China broadcasting outside of China?

        But I agree with the deaths of hundreds of people in China. The American organizations have to realize, yes they are trying to do good, but yes they are going to kill them when they find them. They will put them in a holding cell, then they will "d

      • by 1u3hr (530656)
        As long as they are selling pirated goods and hawking them via spam,

        In China pirated goods are sold in shops and street markets.

    • by westlake (615356)
      So these associations basically just signed the death warrants of hundreds of people?

      China takes economic crimes seriously. That is part of its culture and I do not think unique to the present-day communist regime.

      • by Haeleth (414428)

        China takes economic crimes seriously.

        When it suits it to do so.

        That is part of its culture and I do not think unique to the present-day communist regime.

        If that is really the case, which I'm in no position to judge, then its culture needs changing. The point of universal human rights is that they're universal, not a pick-and-mix bag that changes depending on which part of the world you were unlucky enough to be born into. "It's part of my culture" does not justify any abuse of human rights, be it slavery

        • by westlake (615356)
          If that is really the case, which I'm in no position to judge, then its culture needs changing. The point of universal human rights is that they're universal

          It is a stretch to argue that imprisonment --- hard time --- for economic crimes violates a fundamental human right. If your argument is simply against the death penalty, that is another issue.

    • by kalirion (728907)
      hundreds? Me thinks you're underestimating the size of the Chinese bootlegging industry.
  • China will provide the piracy, and the rest will combat it.
  • Piracy costs U.S. industry about $2.3 billion a year in revenues for films, music and digital goods, U.S. officials have said.
    Anybody have any numbers who much Piracy is worth to the pirates. I'd love to know if they could soak up the cost of producing a blockbuster and still turn a profit.
  • BSA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Monday December 18, 2006 @12:19PM (#17287128) Homepage Journal
    Of course the BSA signed on. For over a decade people have noted that Microsoft let Windows get copied and used throughout China with no attempt at all to force licensing. Microsoft didn't speak to China about it. And they didn't ask the US government to step in. Now that the Chinese economy is on the upswing and millions of computers are running illegal copies of Windows, Microsoft is ready to clamp down and demand money.

    Some use the anology to drug dealing. Give the product away for almost nothing until people get hooked, then demand a lot of money.
    • by GodInHell (258915) *
      Meh, or else they just decided that the cost of enforcing was higher than the prospective reward?

      Remember.. this is a buisness not a cartel. Microsoft, love 'em or hate 'em produces a legit product which it sells for a profit. They don't have much cause to use coercive preasure to persuade people to use the industry standard. (at least for desktops)

      -GiH

      • When China's tech industry was just starting to grow, they had a few options. Purchase commercial OSes, make illegal copies of those OSes, or create their own. They went with the cheapest, quickest, and safest route. Microsoft wasn't trying to persuade the Chinese. They simply let the obvious choice take its course. Had they worked with the governments to end illegal copying China would have probably produced their own OS or illegally copied a less popular choice.
        • Had they worked with the governments to end illegal copying China would have probably produced their own OS

          And Microsoft would be in even bigger economic trouble, facing a billion potential users of Red Flag Linux OS [wikipedia.org].

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      For over a decade people have noted

      Oh, well, since "people" have noted it, that must meant that, despite the virtual impossibility of getting the PRC's notoriously kleptocratic, oppressive government to crack down on that country's use of producitivy-boosting tools that they didn't have to pay to develop or use, Microsoft must really not have cared that a giant economy with billions of people was, in substantial quantities, ripping them off. No doubt it just never crossed their minds to fret about it, si
    • For over a decade people have noted that Microsoft let Windows get copied and used throughout China with no attempt at all to force licensing. Microsoft didn't speak to China about it. And they didn't ask the US government to step in.

      Microsoft China was the first foreign-funded corporation to gain full membership in CSIA (China Software Trade Association.)

      In 2002.

      "With the membership, Microsoft will be expected to participate in a series of activities to be held by the Association on protection of inte

  • Not to be a wet blanket, but hasn't China vowed this sort of thing before? Even if the Chinese government were to go all out and start executing pirates en masse, there's still too much profit being made through piracy to believe the practice will just stop. I'm not condoning piracy, but it really does seem that piracy is a reaction to market forces out of whack, ie, wares that are being pirated are priced too high for the market in question.
    • China is trying to be a big player in the world economy. And so they have to at least pretend to play by the rules. I believe their membership in the WTO requires they combat international copyright infringement.
    • Re:Wet Blanket (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday December 18, 2006 @12:52PM (#17287732) Homepage Journal
      ``I'm not condoning piracy, but it really does seem that piracy is a reaction to market forces out of whack, ie, wares that are being pirated are priced too high for the market in question.''

      Well, almost. Rather than say that market forces are "out of whack", prices are too high, and piracy is a reaction to that, I would say that piracy is a market force. The pirates are actually just other players entering the market and competing with the incumbents.

      The incumbents are exercising their government-granted monopoly (copyright) and doing what rational monopolists do: collecting outrageous margins and delivering mediocre products and services. The pirates are violating the monopoly and distributing the products that only the incumbents have the rights to distribute. This costs them whatever it costs the incumbents to distribute the same products, plus the additional cost of fines, jail sentences, etc. when they are caught. Rational pirates pass these costs on to the customers, as well as charge whatever markup customers are willing to pay, but many pirates actually don't charge for their wares - meaning they are actually more like Robin Hoods than like actual pirates.

      What's interesting about this whole thing is that, in the age of digital media and cheap bandwidth, piracy is so cheap and so widespread that governments can't enforce the monopoly that they've given (or sold) the copyright holders. Instead, they've extended the term of copyright (which is completely useless against piracy), tightened the law (DMCA; somewhat useful, although it harms customers, as well), and upped the sentences (again, DMCA; this is about the only effective measure, as it raises the cost of piracy). However, I have the feeling that things would have to get much, much more draconian for pirates' costs to reach the level where piracy is only profitable at the sales prices the monopolists charge.

      Of course, governments can and do go after pirates' customers as well. This is probably a much more successful tactic, as the business case for risking a jail sentence or hefty fine to save a few dollars on a song or movie is much harder to make then the business case of facing a jail sentence or a hefty fine for raking in millions of dollars in profits.

      Ok, enough rambling. I'm not even an economist.
    • by jamar0303 (896820)
      You're right- for the longest time DS and PSP games were freely available off of some Chinese gaming forums because the genuine article is far too expensive ($50 per game- PSP and DS games are the same price). This doesn't apply everyhwere, though- World of Warcraft uses a pre-paid system here- you pay depending on how long you play the game, so a $3.50 card could give you 20-odd hours, I think (I haven't checked, since I don't play it, but I know people in school who do- they told me that's how it was) so
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought only the US Government was authorized by the Constitution to negotiate with foreign countries. It seems odd that industry trade associations are setting up de facto treaties without Congressional oversight.

    Maybe I'm wrong... but if this is true, I think we give these sorts of associations far too much freedom.
  • China probably thought they were signing an agreement to combat internet privacy.
  • Google and Yahoo conduct business in China and get slapped in the face over it in general media. Ok, I don't condone Yahoo giving away information on Chinese dissidents, but Google just blocked parts of access according to Chinese law. Now Microsoft's & Adobe's marionette: the BSA and Sony/BMG/Warner's marionette: MPAA go sign a treaty that they give information on Chinese dissidents so that Chinese hitman can go whack them and nobody gives a shit?
  • Unlike the West, China has a large PHYSICAL pirate presence.

    The expense of paying for a computer and monthly broadband charges seems ridiculous when you can head to your local corner and pick up the latest software/cd/movie for less than a dollar.
    • by crossmr (957846)
      But when you only make $3 per month in the WoW gold farm you work for, that adds up.

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