China's Main Newspaper Complains That The iPad Is Too Damn Legal

from the they-have-a-point dept

China is often accused of ignoring intellectual property, though, as we've noted, lately it's been embracing intellectual property laws, mainly to smack down foreign competitors. The country has been trying to show the world that it's taking these matters seriously, and I'm sure there was plenty of conversation about this when Eric Holder met with officials in Beijing, following his recent blatantly intellectually dishonest speech about intellectual property issues.

So, given all of that, it seems a bit strange that The People's Daily newspaper, which is the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, recently put up a review of Apple's iPad that complained about the fact that it couldn't be used for unauthorized material:
"There are many disadvantages" to the gadgets, it wrote. "For example you cannot install pirate software on them, you cannot download [free] music, and you need to pay for movies you watch on them."
Now, while some might find this a bit surprising, it should be remembered that, in China, it's possible to also get unauthorized devices that build off of other company's gadgets to create something more powerful, and actually open for such uses. So while such a complaint may seem strange at first, when you realize that all they're really saying is that "we know how much more powerful this device should be, and it's a shame that it's locked down, because that takes away much of its value."


Reader Comments (rss)

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 11:58am

    What the hell happened?

    Suddenly I'm in a world where the commies are lecturing us about being too restrictive.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 11:59am

    It's a bit much when the Communist Party newspaper declares that the iPad is badly crippled, isn't it?

    It's not like we don't know that but of all the house organs in the world you'd thing the People's Daily News would be cheering the lock down.

    Think Steve Jobs will get the message that maybe he's crossed a bridge too far with this one?

    Nahhh. The MSM and most tech sites will go miles over the top and breathless with the next Apple toy, just as they always do.

    Next act. Apple accused the Chinese Communist Party with piracy and illegally cracking the iPad. News at 11!

     

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    Jason, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    (lights torch)

    "Now all of China knows you're here!"

    "Perfect."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    They are pushing people on the direction of the iPed :)

    On other news South Korea is using robots to teach kids.

     

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    JEDIDAH, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    The Guilded Cage.

    There is another word for "pirate" software: your personal backup.

    The problem with DRM is that it doesn't discriminate between fair and reasonable and LEGAL personal use and blatant piracy.

     

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      MrWilson, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 12:34pm

      Re: The Guilded Cage.

      "The problem with DRM is that it doesn't discriminate between fair and reasonable and LEGAL personal use and blatant piracy."

      That's not a design flaw, it's a "feature!" Customers can't be trusted to back up their software and data. Computers and mobile devices are so HARD to use. That's why we conveniently offer a 0% discount on buying a 2nd copy of everything you already "own"/license!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

     

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    Dingus, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    nobody said the iPad was a stand-alone device

    Yes, afaik you can't download free music or video directly onto your iPad from the net (though there may be apps for that), but these folks seem never to have heard of iTunes or considered using a PC with their device.

    I download plenty of free music from archive.org and elsewhere and putting it on the iPad is as simple as adding it to your music library. Likewise for video, although with some formats you have to have iTunes make a version specifically for iPad or iPhone and sync that instead.

    I've never bought a song or rented a video from Apple (or anyone else), because I have plenty of other sources. Most of what I have isn't even available for sale. That doesn't stop me from having 10 gigs of video and two of music on an iPad for use wherever I may care to take it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 2:23pm

      Re: nobody said the iPad was a stand-alone device

      That doesn't stop me from having 10 gigs of video and two of music on an iPad for use wherever I may care to take it.


      Really? Thats All?
      I'm Old. I've been collecting since before the term "RIP" was used to create a MP3 from a CD. If you need music let me know. I'm have on the order of 200 Gigs, someone has to archive it. The RIAA don't.

       

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        dingus, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 3:25pm

        Re: Re: nobody said the iPad was a stand-alone device

        You seem to believe that what I can fit on a 16 gig iPad is the whole of my iTunes library, which is pretty silly. I've got about 200 gigs as well, and 90% of those I ripped myself with the latest LAME.

        Despite my nym, the subject was free downloads on the iPad, not who's got the biggest . . . library.

         

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    framitz (profile), Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    a different take

    IMHO What they really mean is that the device is a money maker ripe for cloning, but it's too hard to ripoff.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2010 @ 7:39am

      Re: a different take

      Nope its pretty easy to rip off, in fact my Chi-pad has so much more functionality than the original. Who would think communists would be innovators.

       

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    Michael Long (profile), Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    "...you cannot install pirate software on them, you cannot download [free] music, and [horrors] you need to pay for movies you watch on them."

    Mike is right. The iPad would be much more powerful if it allowed you to steal whatever you want, whenever you wanted it!

     

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      JEDIDIAH, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 4:23pm

      Don't castrate my computer.

      Yup. Being in control of your computing devices does allow you to "steal anything you want". This what gives Big Media fits.

      Big Content are thieves so that's what they see when they look at other people.

      They would rather destroy the technology that the world runs on than risk trusting their own customers. They project their own values onto their customers.

       

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      abc gum, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 6:34pm

      Re:

      Kinda missed the point there Biff.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      I don't know why you keep thinking that it's OK to lie. Copying != theft.

       

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    interval, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    iPadness

    Is what they say about DRM-less music anywhere near true? That would seem to imply that if it didn't come from iTunes its not going into the iPad. Not going to own an iPad in this lifetime so I would love to learn.

     

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      JEDIDIAH, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 4:25pm

      Re: iPadness

      iTunes doesn't enforce DRM on stuff you add to it from external sources. It only enforces DRM on stuff you buy from Apple. You can put your own music, movies and eBooks into iTunes. You just have to be delicate about it because iTunes is picky. This is about the limited formats that Apple/iTunes suports rather than any attempt to enforce propriety.

      You can adapt all the Torrents you want to the iPad.

       

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    DOlz (profile), Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 3:15pm

    I've been using Macs since 1984 As far as the iPad goes I don't know why anyone thinks a gelded computer is great.

     

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    Whirler, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    Don't buy it, reverse engineer it like everything else

    LOL- from a country that fosters cheating and piracy... I am shocked. The real reason is because the device is locked down.

     

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    cmholm, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 6:49pm

    Nutshell Beef: We Buy H/w, Not S/w

    The rationale for the People's Daily beef is obvious. They expect to buy a system once, that's it. Any software and digital media is assumed to be implicitly bundled.

    A nephew who's been a long time resident spends little more than the cost of physical media for s/w, music, movies. He knows that once he's saved up the cash to buy a laptop or media player, he's pretty much set.

     

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    Karin, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    Music, technology... equals product - - - Products = A Salary

    One pays for electricity, phone, internet, food, gas... Why is it that one feels that technology and/or music where there are real people behind them that have spent their own monies and labor behind are required to give away their creative works? When the time comes that there is no salary behind ones work - one will simply move onto something else. Than people will complain that there isn't enough. Yet, they themselves have caused the result...
    I fear that many individuals are not taking personal responsibility. Rather, they expect everything to be given to them, as if they deserve it some how. May I ask Why? Who in the hell are you?

     

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      abc gum, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 8:39am

      Re: Music, technology... equals product - - - Products = A Salary

      "are required to give away their creative works"

      - Not sure where this came from as I see no requirement to give away anything. I do however see the reality of diminishing returns.

      "I fear that many individuals are not taking personal responsibility."

      - This would include those who ignore, even deny the facts staring them in the face. Why should anyone be given a free ride. Who in the hell are these people?

      - FWIW, I do not intentionally infringe upon copyright and I do not like being accused of same. There are many attempts to enact "you must be a pirate" fees/taxes upon seemingly innocuous items and this way of thinking apparently is not going away anytime soon.

      It is sad when a majority of law abiding people are forced to pay for the lack of foresight by the few simply because those few have more influence.

       

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    Karin, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    Music, technology... equals product - - - Products = A Salary

    One pays for electricity, phone, internet, food, gas... Why is it that one feels that technology and/or music where there are real people behind them that have spent their own monies and labor behind are required to give away their creative works? When the time comes that there is no salary behind ones work - one will simply move onto something else. Than people will complain that there isn't enough. Yet, they themselves have caused the result...
    I fear that many individuals are not taking personal responsibility. Rather, they expect everything to be given to them, as if they deserve it some how. May I ask Why? Who in the hell are you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 10:01am

      Re: Music, technology... equals product - - - Products = A Salary

      "Why is it that one feels that technology and/or music where there are real people behind them that have spent their own monies and labor behind are required to give away their creative works?"

      If they don't want to give away anything then don't release it to the public. Once released, it's my (natural) right to freely copy and redistribute.

       

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    anon, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 8:11pm

    It's too late: computers and fast data pipes exist

    It's too late: computers and fast data pipes to everywhere, including our pockets, exist. If it can be expressed by a computer, it can be copied, and will be.

    So creating frameworks based on people not copying is always going to be a losing proposition. Some people recognise this, and have pretty much abandoned the old media. This Chinese review is an acknowledgement by someone within their immense bureaucracy of the real world.

    Bureaucracies often give conflicting points of view, so it is no surprise part of the Chinese system play the IP game, whilst other parts laugh at IP-thinking based restrictions.

    Perhaps the official censors (or whoever) just didn't get the memo?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 8:20pm

    There is bigger problems with censorship like when some countries decide to ignore others and start trading just among themselves.

    The precedent is how the U.S. use it economic leverage to force others into compliance.

    Now China learned that lesson very well and it is using their leverage not only in economics but in raw materials :)

    http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/22/japan-business-no-rare-earths-coming-from-china/?hpt= C2

     

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    ukyo_rulz, Oct 22nd, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    A customer pays for the device, the electricity it runs on, internet access... Why is it that Apple feels that customers who are the real people supporting the company by spending their own money and fruits of their labor to acquire these devices are required to give up their control over devices they themselves own? When the time comes that customers decide to not put up with being treated like criminals - they will simply move onto a more open platform. Then Steve Jobs will complain that sales are dropping. Yet, Apple itself has caused the result...
    I fear that Apple not taking this seriously. Rather, it expects paying customers to accept this crazy assumption of criminality, as if they deserve no control over their own possessions. May I ask Why? What in the hell is Apple thinking?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 1:26am

    I'll admit, China saying the device is too locked down/legal makes me go "LOL, YOUR ICLONES NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU NOW?"

    Part of me is giddy to see that, China, of all countries is pointing out the idiot-switch on these devices. Maybe they might pass a law that requires for the devices to be hackable or something, and that opens the door for grey market models.

    On the other hand, the entire reason these are locked down is because of countries like China, and most of Asia (including India) pirate things silly.

    One might make the same argument from Japan claiming Americans don't respect their copyrights on games (Fan-translations), Anime (Fansubs), and Manga (Scanlations), as the average anime-watching teen or adult pirates most of the stuff they want to watch, and only buys the stuff they want to see more of.

     

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    Beldin, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 3:40am

    Pretty much correct....

    Aren't they just telling the truth? It might not be politically correct among the IPR crowd, but for most normal people it's 100% factually correct.
    It is also the main reason I'll never buy one....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 4:24am

    What do you expect from 'godless communists' who ignore copy write, patents and trademarks from all countries. They are communists, after all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 7:12am

    Right! China now worries about intellectual property after they ripped off most of the companies in the United States for their technology and then started their own state run companies to compete. When is the world going to wake up to the fact that China is the enemy and needs to expand or it will die. It will not die. It will expand at any cost and will run over the other governments of the world. 200 million armed soldiers. That doesn't scare the crap out of you?

     

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    Chris, Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Communism can kiss my Capitalist Ass!

     

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    Pontifex (profile), Oct 23rd, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    I imagine that Apple will probably try to use this as a publicity stunt.

     

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    ShowMeTheProof (profile), Oct 24th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Jobs is overly cautious

    Steve Jobs of Aplle is an overly cautious CEO who wants to control the rate of advance of all his projects. The result of this is a fairly efficient product with low fault tolerances but s...l...o...w To bring to the public what they want. But, Hey! Uncle Steve knows what's best for the world, right?

     

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    Seth Brundle, Oct 25th, 2010 @ 9:09am

    China is not contradicting itself. Yes, China is a a rather draconian society and not one in which I want to live. However, copyrights don't necessarily add value to our society either. Two different topics.

     

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