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Legal Analysis

4012 words - 17 pages

China's government has pledged to crack down copyright piracy by implementation of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting laws and regulations; it faces increasing pressure to show progress. The periodic crackdowns against counterfeiting have been launched but they often seem motivated more by politically appeasing the United States and other countries than a sincere effort to combat the problem. The United States and other countries want China to impose harsher penalties on crimes linked with counterfeit goods. Chinese law protects trademarks and prohibits companies from copying the “look and feel” of other companies' stores.
The Chinese government enforced laws against ...view middle of the document...

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China’s Internet population stands at 457 million Internet users as of December 2010, with over 66% of them using mobile phones to surf the web, by far the largest in the world. More spectacular is the percentage of those users with high-speed broadband interconnections, at an estimated 450 million users. These statistics speak volumes, since for most of the copyright sectors, legitimate content is not made available in significant quantities online in China due to the prevalence of piracy, market access restrictions, or other discriminatory measures that effectively keep legitimate content out.
Piracy rates in the United States (22 percent) and Western Europe (36 percent) might be higher than most people realize, but when it comes to software thievery, China is clearly in a class of its own. There is a problem in China. In some cases, among the largest buyers of fake goods in China are foreigners who load up on fake Rolexes, DVDs and electronics. Murray King of APCO Worldwide told the Washington Post, “Far too much has been made about the Chinese market and not enough about the foreign appetite” for fake goods. By some estimated two thirds of 15 million shoppers a year at Beijing Silk Street market are foreigners.
In 2006, Chinese courts heard 769 criminal intellectual property rights cases, a 52 percent increase from 2005, and sentenced 1,212 people, a 62 percent increase. The total number of cases related to protecting intellectual property rights increased from 13,000 in 2005 to 20,000 in 2006.
Foreign multinationals and governments--with the United States first in line--have grown impatient with China's pleas for time and insist on using the yardstick of China's own laws and multilateral obligations to measure progress. “The regulations are in place for copyright, trademarks, patents--the laws themselves are good,” comments Jeanette K. Chan, head of China practices at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, in Hong Kong. “The problem is implementation. The laws are only effective if regulatory authorities and courts apply the law,” she says.
The United States have created but not passed the bill called SOPA (stop the online act) which could help curb piracy. If the bill passes, it would make it harder for Internet entrepreneurs to grow into the next Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Internet entrepreneurs have expressed that the bill will cripple innovation. Companies such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, and organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Boarders oppose the legislation. The U.S. will lose money on search engines and online companies in the future, by making the bill complicated. This can hurt potential profits of U.S. record companies and production studios.
The U.S. wanted to attain cheap labor cost to use a super-cheap, lightly regulated production base to supply Chinese and...

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