Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Alternative Business Models Emerge In Times of Pessimism About a Solution Against Copyright Piracy in China

That copyright piracy in China is a serious problem is confirmed by the article in China Daily. The General Administration of Press and Publication announced that 120 million audio and video products and 500 million unauthorized books a year were pirated. Read the China Daily here.

Eric Priest a research fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, is pessimistic that a solution to this problem will be found anytime soon. In his 79 page article 'The Future of Music and Film Piracy in China' he writes:

"The government's present trajectory in the war on piracy - pursuing a long term plan for improved intellectual property protection through measured reforms, education, and reliance on private parties to enforce their own copyright portfolios - will not solve the piracy problem or bring about significant relief to copyright owners for many years, if ever.

In fact, the Chinese entertainment industry will likely turn to alternative business models that do not rely on copyright law to generate revenue before reliable copyright enforcement becomes a reality in China."

Alternatives of such business models already emerge as one can read in the Shanghai Daily:

Sina Corp, China's biggest Web portal, sells advertising next to the free music streams of EMI Group Plc, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group Corp, Universal Music Group and Taiwan's Rock Records, which can't be downloaded to personal computers. Ad revenue will be shared with the record companies. Read John Liu's article for Shanghai Daily here.

Priest deems an effective crackdown on piracy in China impossible in the foreseeable future, due to political, institutional, economic and cultural barriers. Read Priest's article here (79 pages).

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