John von Seggern on Wed, 10 Jul 2002 14:54:54 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> "China:Imitation Nation"-Salon

As a DJ/musician who has lived in Hong Kong for most of the past seven
years and worked frequently in China, in my experience it is also fair to
say that the weakness of Chinese IP law has led to a situation in which it
is virtually impossible for Chinese musicians/artists/writers to make a
living from their work. Some musicians whose CDs are believed to sell in
the millions of copies nationwide are still living penniless in Beijing
because 95% of their sales are from pirate copies. Many bands in China
break up after making one CD because it is economically impossible for
them to continue making records. Some groups on the nascent Chinese dance
music scene (such as the recently popular MP4) have used their popularity
gained from pirate CD sales and downloads to increase the price they ask
for live gigs, although I believe this has been difficult for many of the
rock groups because of gov't restrictions on live performances.

Although I generally support a less restrictive approach to IP,
nonetheless the situation of artists in China should be a cautionary tale
for those who think 'information wants to be free' means that we should
forego any kind of copyright protection whatsoever.

Also -- Confucian values aside, I have noticed that Westerners resident in
HK/China inevitably begin buying and using pirated products themselves,
even while 'knowing it is wrong' as suggested below. After all,
everybody's doing it...


----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael H Goldhaber" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2002 7:58 PM
Subject: <nettime> "China:Imitation Nation"-Salon

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


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