US Falsely Claiming It 'Won' IP Fight With China

from the it-lost-badly dept

You may recall a few years ago that in the (still ongoing!) fight between Antigua and the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO), that the WTO came out with a ruling where the US declared immediate victory, though the details showed that actually the WTO had sided with Antigua. The US merely declared victory, and got its (wrong) story out to the press first.

It appears that’s happening again.

Earlier this week, plenty of attention was paid to a WTO ruling concerning US disputes with China over a variety of intellectual property issues. The US Trade Representative quickly declared victory (pdf) and that’s the story most of the folks in the press went with, claiming that this was a US victory where the WTO largely supported the US. Some even called it a major victory, while others were surprised that China seemingly was fine with the ruling.

Perhaps that’s because if you actually read through the details, you realize, as Michael Geist points out, that the US actually lost very badly. There were three issues at stake — and the only one the US “won” was the most minor of the three. On the two big issues, concerning China’s border measures concerning counterfeit goods and its IP enforcement system within the country, the WTO sided strongly with China, and chastised the US for providing rather bogus “evidence” (often consisting of newspaper articles, rather than actual evidence) in support of its position. It seems like the only mainstream publication that actually bothered to read the report, rather than the USTR’s “day is night” version of the events was Forbes, who notes that the USTR was being misleading in claiming victory. Of course, given how the US acted after it lost the Antigua case in the WTO, we can expect the US to appeal the ruling or… just ignore it and continue pretending the WTO actually ruled in its favor.

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Comments on “US Falsely Claiming It 'Won' IP Fight With China”

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13 Comments
Steve says:

While IP laws do need to be reformed. Something need to be done about the way China deals with Copywritten material. When someone can go up and buy a 2 disk pack of an artists best songs for $2, none of that money is going to people who make the material on the disk. Same thing goes when a box set of entire series, not seasons, for ~$30.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While IP laws do need to be reformed. Something need to be done about the way China deals with Copywritten material. When someone can go up and buy a 2 disk pack of an artists best songs for $2, none of that money is going to people who make the material on the disk. Same thing goes when a box set of entire series, not seasons, for ~$30.

Actually, you should take a look closely at what’s happening in the Chinese music market — where the same thing applies. What they’ve done is rather than saying “something must be done” they’ve changed their business model… successfully.

JY Park, a successful Korean music entrepreneur says that China is one of his most lucrative markets, but he doesn’t worry about selling CDs or selling music there… he focuses on sponsorships, mobile subscriptions and live performances.

So, instead of saying “something needs to be done” how about looking for ways to take advantage of the situation yourself?

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