Tuesday, July 10, 2007

IP Protection in China Challenge Peanuts Compared to China's Environmental Challenge, Though Parallels Abound

I got an email from Erica Schlaikjer of Responsible China, which "focuses on environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility in Greater China." A great site.

Now what has IP protection to do with the environment?

I wrote it before and write it again: The moral implication of buying counterfeited or pirated goods is not only that they infringe the IPRs of the owners, but that it might be manufactured by children, in bad working conditions, pollute the environment etc. Read more here.

In sum a total lack of accountability.

However, the IP protection challenge are peanuts compared to China's environmental challenge. Of course it is not only China's environmental challenge but that of the whole world, since pollution does not recognise borders. And China is trying to hush hush staggering statistics to come out in the open about China's environment, because of fear of social instability. The World Bank even let itself been censored by China, according to the Financial Times. It was about the shocking number of the amount of people in China that die each year, because of the air pollution: 750.000 people. Read more about it here.

This points at an other parallel between IP infringements and pollution. The lack of transparency by the Chinese authorities regarding the environment and IP protection and enforcement justifying it by saying that otherwise social instabilty will break out is not sustainable.

Both IP protection and the environment problems can only be solved when the culture about these aspects in the whole population has changed. So everybody should be aware of these problems. This demands transparency by the Chinese authorities, not avoidness behaviour.

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