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China Rejects US Piracy Claims As "Groundless" 302

Posted by timothy
from the move-along-nothing-to-see dept.
eldavojohn writes "Earlier this month, a United States piracy list fingered China, Russia, and Canada as the first, second and third worst governments (respectively) for enforcing copyright policy in the world. China's Foreign Ministry has rejected these claims as 'groundless' just before meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing to address copyright policy. The official Chinese statement read, 'The involved US Congress members should respect the fact and stop making groundless accusations against China.' The plan nevertheless remains to use the visit to pressure China into overhauling its failed attempts to curb piracy, since software piracy in China appears to be a social norm, with the Chinese government possibly even leading by example."
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China Rejects US Piracy Claims As "Groundless"

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  • by durrr (1316311) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:08AM (#32313230)
    Software piracy in china appear to be social norm, along with the rest of the world.
    • by radicalskeptic (644346) <tritoneNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:33AM (#32313338)
      MAYBE, but in your country you walk a block to the local DVD store and choose from a selection of thousands of pirated DVDs, each selling for the equivalent of 1.25 USD per disc? That's what it's like living in any city in China. It's probably impossible to buy a NON-pirated DVD in China (I for one have never seen one!). Technically these shops are breaking the law, but the relevant laws are not enforced.

      Another example of the higher level of piracy is Baidu's music search. Baidu is the Chinese equivalent of Google, and using mp3.baidu.com you can find pirated mp3s of pretty much every song you'd want to hear. They block some of the files if you are accessing it from a foreign IP address, though. Check this [tinypic.com] search I just did (from inside China). Can you imagine if Google had a site like this? It would be sued into oblivion (although blogsearch.google.com can get pretty close!)

      Even on TV, pirating is rampant. Talk shows and reality shows often take their background music the soundtracks of popular films like the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and something tells me they aren't coughing up royalty checks for that.
      • by zogger (617870) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:12AM (#32314258) Homepage Journal

        1.25 USD per disc

        That the main point and why so called "piracy" is also rampant in these various other nations. These media distributors are seriously price gouging, they have some insane idea of what their "copies" are allegedly worth, so the market routes around their idiocy. And everyone knows it. If they made these copies closer to that chinese knock off price, that is also closer to a "fair" price for duplication copies using today's tech. They could make up the difference on volume sales. Instead, 20 bucks a disk, DRM, warnings, etc, then bitch up and down and sideways over piracy.

        I mean..duh

        Back when making a physical copy actually cost a whole lot more, charging an appropriate price was fair and understandable. This is not the case now, especially with digital downloads, let alone what everyone knows is the price for blank media and making copies in bulk. The **AA cartel just needs to get seriously real on prices, they should have done it years ago. What they charge to *rent* a disk they could afford to just outright sell it, and still make good profit, especially if they kept the packaging costs low. Just stick them in cheap printed paper sleeves, sell for a few bucks, at least have that option. If people wanted the full jewel case and liner notes, swell, charge another couple of bucks, up to but not exceeding five dollars. $20 for a disk is out to lunch, 99 cents for a few megs download is out to lunch as well, the old "allofmp3" prices were a lot fairer.

        And yes, to nip the indignant knee jerk reaction in advance, I am fully aware of production costs. That's not the point, they are carved in stone, called a sunk price, after that you want to sell as many copies as possible to make your profit. "Oh noes, I need to charge twenty for this stamped disk to make money, plus this is "what the market will bear". Nope, incorrect again, this is why there is so much piracy, the "market" mostly thinks 20 bucks for a disk is ludicrous, it is *not* bearing it except in way high paid a few nations and only a small subset in those nations. Look again at the parent post, a buck 25 is closer to what the global market of 6.5 billion people can afford. A small fraction of your potential market has enough disposable cash (now, watch as the economy keeps tanking...) to think 20 is cool, the vast bulk of humanity thinks anyone-you the media copy seller are nuts and will not pay that price, and they don't. It's been the collective global big finger to those sort of bloated prices.

            Stop price gouging on non scarce and very cheap resources, see what happens.

        • by bigredradio (631970) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @01:29PM (#32315298) Homepage Journal
          From my understanding AllofMP3 ripped a CD and started selling the rip. They had no production costs associated with the disc. The record companies did have to put a lot of money into production, artist costs, studio costs, mastering costs. The sunk costs is usually calculated with the fixed costs added to the variable costs per unit produced. In this case, your claim is the variable costs are much less. However, you have to include the overhead costs no matter whether a digital download or vinyl LP. I think that CDs are overpriced. But thinking the costs for a CD are close to 1.25 per unit is way off. Probably closer to 4.00. They also want to make SOME profit so they can stay in business. Mark up to $8 to get some profit. I always thought the $9.99 for an album on iTunes was fair. Charging $20 might be fair for a physical CD, but not a digital download.
      • by ultranova (717540) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @12:05PM (#32314650)

        MAYBE, but in your country you walk a block to the local DVD store and choose from a selection of thousands of pirated DVDs, each selling for the equivalent of 1.25 USD per disc?

        In my country, people download pirated copies from the Internet for free. They will in China too, as Internet continues to propagate and the Great Firewall continues to be bypassed in more and more effective ways.

        Technically these shops are breaking the law, but the relevant laws are not enforced.

        And why would they? Enforce copyright law -> send money to Hollywood, don't enforce copyright -> money stays home. It acts as an effective toll barrier, helping Chinese economy grow. We should learn from that, not condemn it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In the rest of the world we go to a "rental" store, borrow an original copy for the equivalent of 1.25 USD, take it home, and make our own copy.

    • by psnyder (1326089) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:40AM (#32313386)
      While there's a lot to criticize about governmental policies in China, Russia, and... Canada?... at least they're not wasting millions of man hours trying to enforce the copy restrictions of other countries.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dimeglio (456244)

        The US don't want to enforce copyright, they want to reduce everyone's privacy rights. This copyright BS clearly hides an agenda of controlling everyone everywhere.

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:22AM (#32313966) Journal

          Flamebait? He stated the truth. But he also left out this part: The US is so vehement to protects its music, movies, and so forth because, like Rome at the end of its life, the country has nothing left to offer the world except entertainment. The US wants to protect that cashflow, else it would go bankrupt.

      • by mickwd (196449)

        Interesting that the US government is giving awards for not following the rules of other countries.

        They are well qualified to judge, based on the fact that not following the rules of other countries would seem to be something the US government excels at.

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:16AM (#32313930) Journal

        Ya know.....

        I think whoever accused Canada as 3rd worst is a real asshole. Canada DOES have relevant laws about piracy - they collect approximately 1% per blank cassette, CD, or DVD sold, put that money in a central fund, and use that fund to provide financial backing for artists. That's Canadian law. That's the solution they chose and exercised for the last ~30 years.

        Now maybe the Congresscritters don't like that law, but last I checked Canada is not a US protectorate. (Unless they are secretly planning to turn the provinces into states 51 to 60). I think it's about time the European Union, the British Commonwealth, and BRIC step-up and tell Washington DC to "Shut up!"

        As for the Chinese dude, he's obviously lying but at the same time I think he's taking the right approach - "We're not your serfs. You will not boss us around."

    • Not Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Das Auge (597142) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:47AM (#32313426)
      I can't really speak for China or Russia, but Canada is no more a haven for pirating than the US. What makes Canada a "problem" is that they have some of the best laws in the world regarding the privacy of its citizens. So that means that a corporation can't just go to an ISP and demand information on a random user and have their account suspended without due process. So Canada's problem is that it values people over corporations.

      Oh, and for the record, I'm an American, not Canadian; and yes, I am jealous.
    • by Znork (31774)

      And it's certainly not something to consider shameful. As IPR in general is equivalent to taxation from a macroeconomic perspective, it's basically a list of who has lower taxes on media duplication.

      Copying is the social norm; it's the foundation of civilization.

    • I can't get excited over software piracy, when half the nations in the world are actively trying to encroach on their citizen'z proper rights and liberties. They need to shove ACTA as far up their rear orifices as humanly possible, then shove a little more. Every single idiot who is onboard with these violations of human rights should be retroactively aborted. That starts with my own president, Mr. Obama.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      And notice that it's the US definition of copyright that is broken, not necessarily the local copyright regulations.

      Anyway - when copyright crimes are high on the list of pursued and punishable crimes while other crimes still exists in large volumes is that not an indication of a legal system that is going down the drain?

  • FOSS (Score:5, Informative)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:10AM (#32313238)
    I hope they do start to enforce copyright more on software. It is likely to steer them more towards FOSS solutions and that will ultimately benefit them and everyone else, too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yfrwlf (998822)
      Getting rid of copyright law would benefit the world more than FOSS. Without copyright law, source code can be legally copied no matter what. Copyleft is just a stopgap for a bigger problem and shows the benefits of what anyone can do once empowered.

      I praise the Chinese government for standing up against U.S. corporations pushing their desires through their puppets.
      • Re:FOSS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by markdavis (642305) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:33AM (#32313344)

        I am not in favor of getting rid of software or media copyrights. I think there is an absolute place and need for them. But I am in favor of greatly reducing their lengths, which have grown way out of control. In today's world, a copyright should not last for more than maybe 10 years.

        FOSS and traditionally copyrighted software can and do exist together quite fine. And they also play nice together, giving software developers and users lots of choice and possibilities.

        Software PATENTS, on the other hand, are just horrible and should go away. They destroy all innovation, create needless complexity, chill all markets, ruin consumer choice, and hurt players of all sizes.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by CFBMoo1 (157453)
        Having a sane copyright and patent system in place would do better then no copyright or patents. They should have stuck with the 14 year/14 year setup originally for copyrights. However people do not want to work and only want to milk things for generations to come. Mickey Mouse would have been public domain if it weren't for Disney.
      • Re:FOSS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:36AM (#32313356) Journal

        I praise the Chinese government for standing up against U.S. corporations pushing their desires through their puppets.

        I think you need to restrict your statement to just software. While, yes, the RIAA and MPAA are probably pressuring the US government to do this, I do not think the response to ignore it altogether for music and movies helps. There's a happy medium somewhere and it's not the abhorrent 90 to 120 years that the US has while I equally think that the Chinese government's "0 day" copyright protection would make music and movie production a near impossible profit in China (movies would be right out while musicians would need to depend on only live performances). Just think how much China's Hollywood or music scene would dwarf the United States' if they had an enforced ~20 year copyright policy. After all there are four times as many citizens there than here. Shouldn't they be producing roughly four times the amount of music and movies the United States does? I know they have more than I see but I get the feeling they see more American media due at least in some part because of this (note: not entirely).

        For software, I have a similar attitude about the length of copyright but I think what you're overlooking is that a lot of companies start in software because it's copyrighted and later end up funding or contributing back to open source. There aren't a lot of Red Hats or Canonicals and even then those have their own in house code projects. I don't see licenses like the GPL or BSD as "stopgaps," I see them as a solution to coexistence and freedom to decide what your creation becomes. You want to hobble it with a copyright license of insane length proportions? Go right ahead, it is America "land of the free" after all.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          I equally think that the Chinese government's "0 day" copyright protection would make music and movie production a near impossible profit in China

          But it doesn't [chinadaily.com.cn].

          Just think how much China's Hollywood or music scene would dwarf the United States' if they had an enforced ~20 year copyright policy.

          The USA's movie and music scenes are the biggest in the world because most of the world wants to consume our media. Sad, but true. Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that people buy what is sold to them (i.e. advertising works) and that ten US media conglomerates own over 50% of the entire world's media outlets.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by value_added (719364)

            The USA's movie and music scenes are the biggest in the world because most of the world wants to consume our media.

            Depends on how you measure "scene".

            Bollywood [businessweek.com] films, for example, sell more tickets. As for music, there's a fair number of international (read "foreign to the US") artists who routinely sell more records than any of our local pop stars.

        • by bit01 (644603)

          After all there are four times as many citizens there than here. Shouldn't they be producing roughly four times the amount of music and movies the United States does?

          What for? That'd just be a waste. You're thinking in terms of artificial scarcity.

          There's only so many hours in the day and the US alone produces about two movies a day. Do you watch two movies a day? Some Some numbers [screenaustralia.gov.au].

          ---

          Copyright rewards distributors (copiers) far more than creators.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by eldavojohn (898314) *

            What for? That'd just be a waste. You're thinking in terms of artificial scarcity.

            There's only so many hours in the day and the US alone produces about two movies a day. Do you watch two movies a day?

            I don't think of movies as some generic commodity. I think of movies as cultural pieces of art -- the same way I think of books and video games. One video game is not of the same quality as another video game nor would you argue that we should slow publishing books to one per week since that's how long it takes the average consumer to consume one. Instead, I recognize that here in the USA I have a movie collection with Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream, Vasquez's Invader Zim and Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi. Wh

        • by Jurily (900488)

          would make music and movie production a near impossible profit in China

          If you don't like the conditions in China, you have three options:

          1. Convince the Chinese government to do something (good luck, considering the average wage and cultural attitude towards foreign intellectual property)
          2. Become the new Chinese government
          3. Live with it

          Whining on the internet is not one of them.

          Dear Americans, there is this wonderful thing called "the rest of the world", and we do some things differently. There is no God Given Right To Profit In Other Countries. If your business model can't

      • by Curtman (556920) *

        Without copyright law, source code can be legally copied no matter what.

        It's copyright law that makes the GPL enforceable. Without it, there would be a lot less source code around, things would become public domain once the source code was released. Companies would have to guard their source code much more closely.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's copyright law that makes the GPL enforceable. Without it, there would be a lot less source code around, things would become public domain once the source code was released. Companies would have to guard their source code much more closely.

          Without copyright law the GPL would be unnecessary. Even if companies guarded their source code, there would be no downside to reverse engineering. That would give consumers more choice and lower prices.

          The original intent of copyright and patent law was to give creators incentive to create by giving them a temporary monopoly. All of the copyright extension laws have turned that into a de facto permanent monopoly. Just look at how much the field has changed in the last 27 years, the original duration for

          • by markdavis (642305)

            >Without copyright law the GPL would be unnecessary.
            >Even if companies guarded their source code, there would be no downside to reverse engineering.

            Copyright does not protect from reverse engineering. Software patents do. Appropriately time restricted copyrights (10 years or so) are not evil nor damaging to society or markets. Software patents, however, are.

            • Yes, I got sloppy and didn't explicitly say patents. However, copyrights are not limited to 10 years in the US, and in their current form are nearly as corrosive as patents.
            • by amorsen (7485)

              Copyright does not protect from reverse engineering.

              With copyright, reverse engineering is almost useless. Sure you get the source code, but you can't use it except as documentation. You have to clean-room reimplement everything.

      • by kestasjk (933987) *
        The Chinese government isn't "standing up" to anyone, as well you know (I hope). It would cost more for them to enforce copyright laws than they would make from taxing sales of IP, so it's not in their interest, so they don't do it.

        Saying "the study where you say we steal the most IP is wrong" (i.e. bullshitting out of convenience) isn't praiseworthy no matter what your views on copyright. If they said "we don't care because we are making a stand against (our own) copyright laws" that would be different
      • I agree. If everything is controlled trough puppets, I at least praise those puppets that agree with me the most. :)

      • You're right. And, you're wrong. In my opinion, anyway.

        Copyright really shouldn't be done away with. A REASONABLE copyright law is a desirable thing. And, a REASONABLE copyright law might very well be respected, by people like myself, at least. The question is, "What is a reasonable copyright law?"

        It certainly isn't a conglomeration of bullshit laws that grant eternal rights to anything and everything that a few ultra-wealthy corporations can snap up for a couple dollars. I want to return to the days

    • I hope they do start to enforce copyright more on software. It is likely to steer them more towards FOSS solutions and that will ultimately benefit them and everyone else, too.

      Not trolling, flaming, etc ... but why on earth would they want to get FOSS solutions when they already are getting the top commercial solutions for $1 or $2 (if not free). Even at their very low wages the cost of switching to another software solution would cost far more than the pirated software costs them.

      • by markdavis (642305)

        Because it wouldn't be $1 or $2 or free if they were enforcing copyrights, which is the premise of my statement.

        In a market where copyright IS enforced, there is a huge incentive to using FOSS. And with more people using and contributing to FOSS, the quality and quantity of FOSS will improve.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      you mean, once the US demands they pay for software licences, the Chinese government will ban Windows and insist on using RedFlag instead. Its plausible....

      • by markdavis (642305)

        Well, that is a little more specific than I was thinking, but yes. The Chinese government could further embrace FOSS, be it Linux, GIMP, FireFox, OpenOffice, BSD, whatever. Despite what many in the USA think, there are some really bright people in China. If just a small fraction of them shifted their focus from proprietary/closed, to FOSS, it could make a big difference.

        Plus, using FOSS, they can:

        1) Be assured that there is no spy code in what they are using
        2) Customize it to meet their specific needs an

    • Only if people fight it. Considering your average population is 90% cattle, I wouldn’t bet on that.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or it would make it worse as companies try to snuff out anything even close to infringing on anything: "that line of code is ours, shut down your entire project, and we are seeking damages", and if the courts are receptive, it would happen.

      Pretty sad when our government is more worried about IP law then protecting our borders, but i guess when IP is the only thing America makes...

  • Snicker Snort (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816)

    Yeah, I guess all the pirate VCDs and DVDs at the flea markets all over California aren't full of professionally-pressed pirate video copies from China? Oh wait, yes they are. In fact, they're all over eBay and Amazon, too. China isn't just "failing to crack down on copyright piracy" (per the RTFA), they have institutionalized copyright infringement for profit all over their country and it's probably a substantial slice of their GNP. China is doing about as much to stop "piracy" as they are to stop anything

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      For example, executing their head of food safety over taking bribes to ignore unsafe food for export instead of actually doing something to prevent the next guy from doing the same thing.

      You don't think watching his predecessor die would be sufficiently effective?

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You don't think watching his predecessor die would be sufficiently effective?

        No, I don't. They will literally execute you and steal your organs [usatoday.com] (note that the family is not permitted to see the body once the about-to-be-murdered-individual is put into the death van) if you cheat on your taxes [dailymail.co.uk] in China. (They don't have enough death vans for everyone, so they still use bullets for execution as well.) China admits to executing ten times more people per capita than we do here in the USA, and it's pretty safe to assume that the actual numbers are much, much higher.

        Furthermore, people

        • by Curtman (556920) *

          China admits to executing ten times more people per capita than we do here in the USA, and it's pretty safe to assume that the actual numbers are much, much higher.

          China and Iran execute more people than the U.S.. In most of the civilized world, murder is murder whether you do it or your government does.

          People in glass houses, and all that jazz.

    • I agree with your main point, but can't agree that executing the head of food safety will have no impact. I expect the replacement to be more than a little gun shy (given their preferred method of execution).
    • by vadim_t (324782)

      You don't think that executing him for bribery might make the next guy to think if it's worth accepting one?

      While in general I oppose the death penalty, IMO if anybody at all is to be executed, it should be the people in the ruling positions. Their decisions affect millions of people. So their actions should be closely monitored, and important failures ruthlessly punished.

      • by rjch (544288)

        While in general I oppose the death penalty, IMO if anybody at all is to be executed, it should be the people in the ruling positions. Their decisions affect millions of people. So their actions should be closely monitored, and important failures ruthlessly punished.

        ...and if you honestly believe this could ever happen, then I've got a lovely bridge [wikipedia.org] to sell you...

      • You don't think that executing him for bribery might make the next guy to think if it's worth accepting one?

        You really think the guy who executed was the guy who did it?

    • by pipedwho (1174327)

      China is doing about as much to stop "piracy" as they are to stop anything else they're doing. For example, executing their head of food safety [boston.com] over taking bribes to ignore unsafe food for export instead of actually doing something to prevent the next guy from doing the same thing.

      I would think that fear of execution is a rather effective deterrent for the next guy. It's also infinitely more effective than rewarding the offender with a huge bonus and a pat on the back.

    • by devent (1627873)
      Never mind the other issues in China, which they have a lot, but "China isn't just "failing to crack down on copyright piracy" (per the RTFA), they have institutionalized copyright infringement for profit all over their country and it's probably a substantial slice of their GNP", so China is basically doing exact the same what America and Ireland was doing with books in the 18 and 19 century?

      Maybe we should just face the true, that software in itself is worth nothing because it costs you nothing to produce
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Never mind the other issues in China, which they have a lot, but "China isn't just "failing to crack down on copyright piracy" (per the RTFA), they have institutionalized copyright infringement for profit all over their country and it's probably a substantial slice of their GNP", so China is basically doing exact the same what America and Ireland was doing with books in the 18 and 19 century?

        And?

        Maybe we should just face the true, that software in itself is worth nothing because it costs you nothing to produce? But if America is continue to export it's industry and it's currency to China, maybe the only thing of value are the so called "intellectual property" that America will have left.

        Look, my comment wasn't intended to pass judgement on the act of copyright infringement. Nowhere did I even imply that I thought it was inappropriate. All I said was that this statement was pure bullshit, and a quick check of the facts backs me up. Anyway, the powers-that-be are doing everything they can to crash the American currency, probably to promote their Amero [wikipedia.org] scheme, so sending all the currency to China is just a more expedient step than anything else they can do with the money.

      • The value of something depends on what someone is willing to pay for it, not what it cost to produce.

    • by sethstorm (512897) *

      I make the same point on piracy, but you don't get modbombed. Go figure.

  • Not even the Great Firewall of China can stop piracy. I once read that one of the Pirate Bay's top user countries is China despite the site being blocked.

    So if not even the Great Firewall of China can stop piracy, then exactly what can? Shouldn't we just face the facts and realize that trying to stop noncommercial copying is impossible and just legalize it already? Copyright law was meant to stop commercial infringement, not noncommercial copying. Enough already.

    • by markdavis (642305)

      >Shouldn't we just face the facts and realize that trying to stop noncommercial copying is impossible
      >and just legalize it already?

      And how is that going to "solve" anything? As a silly comparison: Trying to stop murder is impossible too, but that doesn't mean it should be legalized.

      When content creators have no revenue model anymore, there will be very little content worth copying. And Socialists would want to tax the hell out of us all and come up with some stupid socialized payment system that som

      • by Kethinov (636034)

        As a silly comparison: Trying to stop murder is impossible too, but that doesn't mean it should be legalized.

        Unlike piracy, it's not impossible to enforce laws against murder. Laws punishing the crime (thus serving as deterrent) are highly effective with statistical significance. The same is not true for piracy. Literally millions of people pirate stuff and that number grows every year. The numbers of people caught and sued are minuscule. What's more, a large chunk of those people don't believe it's even im

  • I call BS as there must be one African country that is worse than Canada in enforcing copyright law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dpolak (711584)
      It is BS. They don't like our tarrif based system for music. Buy a blank CD and a portion of it goes to the recording industry. They want us to adopt their laws so they can start the lawsuits the RIAA and MPAA are so famous for. Sorry, we will fight it tooth and nail. Our privacy, unlike the US, is paramount here. BTW, having friends and colleagues that live and work in China, they have told me countless times that companies, such as Micro$oft, encouraged piracy so the population will get hooked on the pr
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But Africa is neither a threat to us nor a rival to us. So it need not be demonized. Propaganda is an expensive thing. In these economically troubled times, we wouldn't want to waste our propaganda machines.
  • I love it! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel@hotmail . c om> on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:35AM (#32313352) Homepage Journal

    Canada is up to #3 Woohoo!

    Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada are responsible for (up to) 6 billion worth of infringement themselves. Just a bit more than the 710 million claimed.

    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096--geist-record-industry-faces-liability-over-infringement [thestar.com]

    Then again, its probably statutory damages vs. actual losses.

    Still, I'm proud to be on the list again. Thanks!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dpolak (711584)
      Gotta love Michael Geist. He takes the crap out of everything is gives us the truth. He has helped many times in preventing secret and insane laws from coming to be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by haruchai (17472)

        I hope to see Michael Geist on the list of great Canadians someday. I would put him ahead of a number of Prime Ministers / Premiers of the last 25 years.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:42AM (#32313396) Journal

    The US position is understandable as is the position of the rest of the world.

    The US is gearing itself more and more to an IP economy, sell knowledge/ideas rather then the products themselves. Apple thinks of the iPod and gets paid for this idea while the actual production and shipping can be done somewhere else. The US is not involved at all in a iPod sold in Holland. So how does Apple ensure it gets paid if not with the enforcement of the concept of IP that tells people you can't just copy their design?

    With software and media content, who cares who made it originally? Despite claims by MS that copies of its software have malware pre-installed (they must be thinking of Sony's PC, that now come with a paid for feature to get a clean install) the fact is that I can save myself a lot of money by just heading over to the piratebay for my game PC. (And yes I do still buy games, just not the OS and no I don't care about a raid because I got dozens of licenses lying around from machines that got liberated with the help of the penguin)

    And for me, a MS license is not all that expensive for someone living on minimum income, in a nation where a license can come close to a months or even years wages... well the choice is even easier.

    The US by continuing to turn into a knowledge only culture (describing the US as a knowledge culture, I am going to have to hand in my EU citizen card for this one) is doing the samething the Brits did pre-WW2. "Why should we produce our own food when we can have foreigners do this for us cheaper and can then use our country side for hunting instead". Capital idea, except that nasty Mr Hitler threw a spanner in the works by sinking the ships bringing in the food. What a rotter.

    The knowledge/IP economy only works when everyone is willing to play along. It is easy to argue that everyone benefits but clearly not everyone seems to agree. With a physical goods economy (the one the US got really really big on) it is easier to force people to play along. You can just stop shipments if someone breaks the rules. And it is rather hard to steal 1000tons of goods. Just ask the somali pirates what happens to you when you try to steal US cargo. "TRIPLE SYNCHRONIZED HEADSHOT!" (in Unreal commentator voice). And that is if you are a lucky pirate. The russian put some in a rubber boat that just somehow managed to sink... well worse things happen at sea, especially if you upset russians.

    But IP? You don't even have to go to the source, the "victim" just happily sends it to you. If the US wants to sell a DVD in China, it got to send the DVD and then just anyone can copy it/steal it. It is an insane system to rely on for your economy. You don't see Shell going around filling everyone's gas tank then hoping they will pay up?

    What is China's motivation for respecting US IP? So that money from its economy floats to the west? How does that aid them? (Well it would allow the US to at least start paying some of its massive debts back) The US is banking its economy on a sector were you really depend on the kindness of strangers. Which seems odd since that is not really what capitalists are best at.

    When Germany declared war on Britian, they had to spend a fortune on submarines to attempt to "sink" the UK's economy. If China were to declare war, all it would need to do is stop payments for IP. Oh and stop sending goods. No need to sink cargo vessels, just not let them sail anymore. The battle for the pacific would be won with a piece of paper. What would the US do, bomb Chinese ports to force the sunken ships to sail? Block Chinese banks so the money for IP couldn't be transferred even more?

    An IP based economy relies far to much on the recognition that IP has to be paid for and to anyone who doesn't have IP that recognition has no positive sides. China/Russia/Canada/EU/Africa do not gain anything from recognizing US IP. Sure, they probably play along because their politicians either want to keep the peace or are corrupted by lobbyists, but how long will that

    • I wish I had mod points. You describe the value of IP without associated manufacture perfectly. I'd not known the UK was so food dependant in WWII, but I have frequently thought about how dependant the military is to taiwan/china. Where would all those laptops & chips come from in a war with the east? I heard we even imported bullits for the Iraq war for awhile. And to the naysayers who say it can't happen, I'm sure the same was said before WWII.

    • by GF678 (1453005)

      Very nice, solid post. I agree completely.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well, you've identified the problem but not really the solution. With cheap Chinese labor and a bulk cargo container I could have a ton of rubber seals for sale at much lower prices than your US company. One possibility is of course to match China on factor costs, but no country wants that because it's a race to the bottom. Another is to start with protectionism, but that's a two way street where other countries would put retaliatory taxes on your goods as well. While there's many reasons why the US took th

    • That's a valid argument for China, Russia and Africa but Canada, on the other hand, is only on the list because US Big Content wants to strong-arm the Canadian government into clarifying the personal use exemptions in a Big Content friendly light. The Canadian economy is structured similarly to that of the US and the laws regarding IP are similar and are strictly enforced.

      The differences that anger Big Content are that Canadian ISPs are less likely to give up IP addresses due to issues of civil liberties an

  • When legitimate American companies deny with IP blocking access to Canadians what other solutions are there ? I can buy CDs from Amazon yet MP3 have been blocked from downloading some weeks after the service was introduced after I had already bought several hard to find albums. Many American companies will go as far as saying they don't ship 'overseas' when blocking Canada, which is funny considering Hawaii or Alaska is further away than 90% of the Canadian population

  • by hengdi (1202709) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @09:04AM (#32313506)

    I live in China (Harbin, to be exact).

    The ONLY shops here that seem to sell legal software are some of the supermarket chains. In fact, the only legal software I see in any quantity (and not much of that)are PS3 games, since they haven't been cracked yet. These sell for about 300-400 rmb ($40-$60). Compare that to any other computer game of 4-7 rmb ($0.5-$1).

    Same thing with movies. I can often buy the DVD release of a movie before it's available in the west, complete with picture insert and so forth, for around $1.

    I understand that music is not a big seller since everyone downloads it.

    I often discuss this my students (I'm an English teacher) and, quite literally, EVERYBODY buys / downloads / uses copied media. It's part of the fabric of the country. Since the government love to keep the people happy, you aren't going to see any change whatsoever on this in the near future, despite whatever the Chinese government may say.

    The only two examples I know of that seem to 'sell' software with any success is WOW, since they have a separate Chinese micro-payment system, and QQ, an instant messaging service, which also handles micro-transactions (you can upgrade your avatar with extra clothes, and many other things - I've never looked to closely).

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tSRV5nP9tI [youtube.com]
    From backing the US$ to trying to sell MS and media products at top prices, nobody seems interested anymore?
  • by Phrogman (80473) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @09:12AM (#32313560) Homepage

    We Canadians are abiding by our laws just as well as any other country in the world, including the US. Its just that the US Media conglomerates have not succeeded in shoving their idea of strict IP laws down our throats yet, despite their best efforts at bribing our officials. As a result, we see entirely biased bullshit like this announced.

    I am sure that in China there is a problem with recognizing the rediculous way that patents and IP are being treated. People are copying technology and selling it and thats probably a real problem for US companies that rely on obedience to US laws to enforce their business models. I can imagine that some of the same is going on in Russia. But Canada? What is the possible origin of lumping Canada in there? Could it be that we have a (gasp) different understanding of fair use and so far (despite our "Conservative" government) have stuck to our guns and maintained our stance? I pay an extra few bucks every time I buy data CDs - why? Because that money is (theoretically at least) being collected to compensate Canadian artists should I choose to do something that infringes on their rights - even if all I actually do is, you know, use them to store data/do backups. Its legal in Canada to download music you don't own I am told (I don't listen to more than a few songs a year on my computer and I think I have a total of 12 mp3s on my system), its just illegal to upload it. I suspect that our stance on fair use, and unwillingness to just roll over and take it up the ass from US companies is the origin of the inclusion of Canada on this list.
    Well fuck them then.

  • They lie like Steve Jobs, but without the reality distortion field.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Walter White (1573805)

      Turnabout?

      Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
      A: None. They just redefine darkness as a standard.

      Q: How bad is software piracy in China.
      A: The Chinese do not pirate. That is a normal operation.

  • Somalia has more piracy. Anyone in international shipping will tell you.
  • by BlackBloq (702158) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:04AM (#32313848)
    Go fuck yourselves or pay me back my cash you assholes!

    Wiki \/
    A blank media levy was introduced in Canada in 1997, by the addition of Part VIII, "Private Copying", to the Canadian Copyright Act. /\
        On every blank CD or DVD I have bought in the past seven years or so! That's about 1000 DVD's. I'm a photographer backing up MY OWN WORK. And still paying a copyright fee because I May have copied. Lame fucking shit. American lobbyists stay the fuck away from my parliament!
  • What joke (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:07AM (#32313872) Journal

    We can't pressure China to do anything unless we are willing to risk total warefar with them. All they have to do is threaten a minor hiccup in treasury purchases and we just lost our testicles. Oh and don't go with they need us just as much as we need them economically crap. No they don't. They have a rising rest of Asia, Russian Federation, Europe and India to sell cheap stuff to. Oh yes it would slow them down a great deal but not like what it would do to us; not at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cdrguru (88047)

      The problem is the only real resolution to the US debt with China is for the US to repudiate the debt. This would probably make China terminate all trade with the US.

      Well and good, I say.

      There is no way the US will ever pay this money back and with the current balance of trade with China, there is no way we can buy our way out. China is happy with this because they have to be thinking that the US is their colony. Except historically the US has made a really bad colony.

      It is just a matter of time until so

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