Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Government Protection Against Chinese Copyright Infringement?

Frank Ahrens of the Washington Post wrote the article 'US Joins Industry in Piracy War', about the US government's support to MPAA and RIAA in the battle against copyright infringements in China and Russia.

MPAA's CEO Dan Glickman said about Russia's possible entrance to WTO:
"We let China in and China has not fully complied with the WTO requirements" for protecting intellectual property, Glickman said. The MPAA has an enforcement division in Hong Kong whose members accompany local law enforcement officials on raids. "The time to get action is now, rather than after they get in."
Read the WP article here and an Earthtimes article here.

Alexander Grundner is questioning whether the US governement should partner with the entertainment industry to crack down on global piracy:
"We have separation of Church and State, when are we going to see separation of Special Interest Groups and International Policies?"

Grundner asks how the content industry can claim full price if the content is not physically produced by the content industry. This question is based on a weak argument. Nobody is questioning whether a newspaper seller can claim full price of a newspaper, although he did not produce it physically. In casu, the internet is adding value by distributing the content to use it in a very userfriendly way.
Grundner's second argument is that the products are to pricy. This may be true, but it is the freedom of every seller to offer the goods/services for the price he deems fit(we are not talking about monopolists of bread or water) , and it is not a justification for piracy.

There is nothing wrong with governments that protect its businesses' interests abroad. Of course a disproportionate amount of resources allocated to the entertainment industry, is not desirable. In order to see if this is the case, you need to weigh the importance of different industries for the national economy.

Read more here.

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