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China IP Piracy Ain't All That

Published: 21 May 2013 21:29:12 PST

Very interesting article in the most recent issue of the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law by Aaron Schwabach, Associate Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The article is entitled “Intellectual Property Piracy: Perception and Reality in China, the United States, and Elsewhere” [pdf] and its abstract describes it as follows:

This article is intended as a counterpoint to the all-too-frequent portrayal of China as the world’s leading violator of intellectual property rights. In fact, by many measures, China, taken as a whole, is not the leading violator. Some measures show China as the leading violator only because they are aggregates, and do not take into account China’s size. When figures are adjusted for population, China’s rates of intellectual property violation are lower than those of many other countries, including the United States.
The article first looks at examples of the current round of political and media China-bashing. It then examines figures on international movie piracy provided by the Motion Picture Association (the international counterpart of the Motion Picture Association of America) and compares those figures to the populations of the countries involved. It concludes that the problem of movie piracy is more severe in the U.S. than in China, possibly because of greater broadband access, and more severe still in other countries, including France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Hat tip to Tim Johnson at China Rises.
There is a line in the article I just love: “Someone who hijacks airplanes and pilots them into buildings full of people is an enemy. Someone who sells pirated copies of Rush Hour 3 is not.” That is the kind of thing I am talking about when I ask for perspective.

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