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2 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. [1] (2002)

handle is hein.journals/dltr2 and id is 1 raw text is: 





   REALITY BITES: HOW THE BITING REALITY OF PIRACY IN
 CHINA IS WORKING TO STRENGTHEN ITS COPYRIGHT LAWS'


           This iBrief discusses how persistent international concern and emerging
           domestic concern over Chinese intellectual property theft have helped
           give sharper teeth to the Chinese copyright regime in the past two years
           and how these new laws may leave bite marks in the future.


Introduction
       The  reality of the voracious Chinese appetite for pirated software, music, and books has
been gnawing  at the world for years. In 1996, the International Intellectual Property Alliance
reported that the US suffered a trade loss of 2.3 billion dollars.2 While this number decreased to
1.5 billion dollars in 2001,3 piracy rates are still astronomically high with the piracy levels of
major goods over 90%.4
       Recently, however, reality has begun to bite down hard on the Chinese movie and music
and industries. Two recent bite victims were the major motion picture The Touch, whose ticket
sales plummeted when black market copies of the movie became ubiquitously available four days
after its opening,5 and the latest album from Yi Ren Zhi Zao, whose CD now  commands   a
staggeringly paltry 1.4% market  share after black market copies became  available before
legitimate copies even hit the music stores.6
       As  is evident from the above statistics, the enforcement of copyright law' in China has
been, in a word, toothless. However, with its entrance into the World Trade Organization and
with the problems of copyright violation becoming a reality to Chinese companies, the notion of


1The author, Graham J. Chynoweth, received his B.A. from the University of California,
Berkeley; J.D. Duke University Law School, Class of 2004; M.A. Terry Sanford Institute of
Public Policy, Duke University, Class of 2004. He would like to thank his mother for inspiring
his interest in public policy and his father for inspiring his interest in law.
2 2002 Special 301 People 's Republic of China, Int'l Intellectual Property Alliance [hereinafter
IIPA], at http://www.iip com/rbc/2002/2002SPEC301PRC  pdf (last visited Nov. 2, 2002).
3 Id.
4 Id.
5 Joseph Kahn, The Pinch of Piracy Wakes China Up on Copyright Issue, N. Y. Times,
November  1, 2002, at 1C.
6 Id.
' Copyright has different legal meanings internationally, but the term generally refers to a
property right in an original work of authorship (such as a literary, musical, artistic, photographic,
or film work) fixed in any tangible medium of expression, giving the holder the exclusive right to
reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, and display the work. Black's Law Dictionary 337 (7th
ed. 1999).

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