A New Type of Copyright Violation in China: Testimony at Trial

If this is not enough to suggest there's a problem with counterfeit or copycat products and ideas in China, then what is? I mean seriously, it does not get much more blatant than a Community Party Chief ripping off someone else's testimony at a corruption trial. According to Reuters, "China can now add testimonies of regret by corrupt officials to its exhaustive list of copyright violations ... Zhang Shaocang, former Communist Party chief of state-owned power company Anhui Province Energy Group Co Ltd, wept as he read a four-page "letter of apology" during his corruption trial at a court in Fuyang, Anhui, according to a Procuratorial Daily report reproduced in Wednesday's Beijing News ... But Zhang's sentiments were later found to be strikingly similar to those of Zhu Fuzhong, a disgraced former party chief of Tongan village in southwestern Sichuan province, whose apology letter was printed in the Procuratorial Daily less than two weeks before."

While I'm sure Shaocong is going to be quietly eating steamed rice behind bars for some time, it will be interesting to see when he emerges from jail if his country has instituted significant intellectual property reforms. I've got to think this is in the works, especially if China is serious about moving up the supply chain food chain, as its trade and industry leaders recently suggested when they reduced the VAT rebates on products with lower value-added content. If China is to look more like Japan and Korea in the next decade, it must encourage innovation from within, and in my view, that will only be a rationale strategy once those investing in R&D actually have something to gain from it that can be protected from theft.

Jason Busch

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