China Slams Western Media Over “Distorted” View of Copyright Piracy

China’s top government official tasked in fighting copyright piracy accused Western media of deliberately distorting his country’s global image regarding intellectual property rights, saying important facts had been ignored.

Foreign governments have urged China to take a stronger stand against violations of intellectual property rights on a range of products from handbags to medicine to software to DVD movies sold on the street.

Last April, the United States included China and Russia on its annual list of countries with the worst records of preventing piracy of copyright and other intellectual property.

However, the head of China’s State Intellectual Property Office, Tian Lipu, said their efforts were being ignored.

“Speaking honestly, there is a market. People use and buy pirated goods,” Tian told reporters. “To a large extent, China’s intellectual property rights protection image has been distorted by Western media.

“China’s image overseas is very poor. As soon as people hear China they think of piracy and counterfeiting—Sanlitun (in Beijin), that place in Shanghai, Luohu in Shenzhen,” Tian said, referring to areas notorious for selling counterfeit goods.

While Tian did not deny his country’s problem and “we are continuing to battle against it,” he claimed other facts were overlooked.

“China is the world’s largest payer for patent rights, for trademark rights, for royalties, and one of the largest for buying real software,” he said. “We pay the most. People rarely talk about this, but it really is a fact. Our government offices, our banks, our insurance companies, our firms… the software is all real.”

Tian also said that if companies on the West were so worried about piracy, they would never choose China to manufacture their products. Apple, for instance, outsources its manufacturing sector to Foxconn and its factories scattered around China.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a United States-based coalition of film, software, music, and publishing groups, estimates that American companies lost over $15 billion in 2009 due to international copyright theft. About $14 billion of the total was from software piracy, about $3.5 billion of these losses were from China.

Source: Interaksyon

Photo credit: Reuters

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