Michael H Goldhaber on Tue, 9 Jul 2002 11:50:49 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> "China:Imitation Nation"-Salon

The Salon article "China:Imitation Nation" by Lisa Movius,


is interesting both in providing current details about Chinese IP "piracy"
and in its attitudes. while Movius emphasizes that piracy imprves the lot
of the average Chinese, she insists without explanation that pricay is bad
for the Chinese economy, and that most Vhinese know it is wrong. She then
explains why they indulge in this a[parently harmful and morally wrong
action by reference to the peculiarities of the Confucian moral code. She
does not explain why this code, which gives such power to leaders fails to
prevent priacy, just as she takes it for granted that IP piracy is indeed
morally wrong. (Morality as defined by Western publishers is apparently
not relaitve but absolute.)

Surely for many of the Western artists and musicians whose CD's or books
are pirated, the net effect is that they are reaching a much wider
audience than they would otherwise have. If Western publishers were
willing to accept more reasonable levels of profit, they could achieve the
same results and also eliminate this sort of piracy, though, horror of
horrors fake Hugo Boss suits would still be sold. Perhaps the unthinking
cupididty of western publishers does achieve one good thing: it allows
numerous Chinese to make a living selling priated CDs and the like. --

Michael H. Goldhaber


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