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How the US Lost Its China Complaint On IP 167

Posted by kdawson
from the evidence-from-the-newspaper dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The World Trade Organization yesterday released its much-anticipated decision involving a US complaint against China over its protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. The US quickly proclaimed victory, with newspaper headlines trumpeting the WTO panel's requirement that China reform elements of its intellectual property laws. Yet the reality is somewhat different. As Michael Geist notes, the US lost badly on key issues such as border measures and criminal IP enforcement, with the international trade body upholding the validity of China's laws."
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How the US Lost Its China Complaint On IP

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  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    IP laws are ridiculous imho.
    • by chord.wav (599850)

      IMHO, it's an implementation problem. I would suggest IP to last 1-2 years, non-renewable. Then it would become public domain. It would democratize innovation and the incentive to invest in reseach will still be there.

      • I think the results are terrible. They upheld the ideological basis for the laws, while reserving the right to selectively enforce. So you can't make a business model around helping make cultural works more accessible to the masses, and pretty much every citizen of China is guilty of violating them, so anyone can be picked up off the street for offending a public official and charged with violating copyright.

        I'm ashamed to live in the western world today...

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by wintermute000 (928348)

          You mean: many people everywhere is guilty of violating them, esp. in countries where the cost of software is a much greater proportion of income than in developed countries.

          I do not know anybody that does not pirate software who is aware how to (i.e. asking someone for a copied CD). And yes I live in a developed country (Australia) that has signed on to your draconian DCMA provisions (thanks 'Free' Trade Agreement, great negotiating there boys).

          People in glass houses and all that.... if there is a geek out

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by hedwards (940851)

            You mean: many people everywhere is guilty of violating them, esp. in countries where the cost of software is a much greater proportion of income than in developed countries.

            So then it's OK for the developed world to subsidize software that people don't really need in the first place?

            The Chinese government currency manipulates to take American jobs, invest in the US to avoid paying it's workers a decent wage, and somehow they're entitled to free ride on my purchases.

            I'm sorry, I'm not really seeing the justification. I could sort of understand if it were something like medicine or the means to grow food, but this is a set of items that for the most part can be replaced and are

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      IP laws are the reason the GPL works.

      Seriously, with IP, the US would not be relevant in the global economy. IP is a major export from the US, and without it, we could not possibly sustain an economy based on producing goods in other countries.

      What is ridiculous is the tolerance the government seems to have for IP abuse.
      • by zogger (617870)

        So we would have to go back to something more balanced and actually produce goods in the US again? I fail to see a downside, considering I am old enough to remember when the bulk of the goods you could go out and buy here were produced here, and the economy was perfectly fine and the middle class was growing with actual savings and we didn't have near as much debt (personal/corporate/governmental). This is one of those things you have to have experienced, it is probably too hard to just muse on it intellect

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DamnStupidElf (649844)

        IP laws are the reason the GPL works.

        If reverse engineering and unlimited copying were completely legal, the GPL would just be the default state of things. Removing obfuscation on code is pretty easy, pirates do it all the time. So is disassembly and reverse engineering. If it was legal, there would simply be no way to release proprietary software, short of massive NDAs and other explicit legal contracts. All other copyrighted/patented/trademarked things are easy to reproduce in fully functional form.

        W

    • It sounds like they refuse to prosecute small-damage cases where no monetary gain was at issue -- they will prosecute crimes for commercial gain, but not for example, go after individual file sharers.

      Sounds like China has more common sense than our RIAA-paid legislators, but this isn't surprising given the insanity of suing users for $220K damages over ~$16 dollars or less of damage.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What are we, Hamas now? By not completely losing we win?
  • by crazybit (918023) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:00AM (#26634569)
    outside US borders?

    What's next? trying to push a world wide patriot act?
    • by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:13AM (#26634671)

      why bother about their laws being implemented outside US borders?

      This is not about US laws being upheld on foreign soil. It's about two very specific international contracts between China, the US and many other countries. The two agreements in question are the Bern Convention [wikipedia.org] and TRIPS [wikipedia.org]. These are agreements the US and China both entered into voluntarily.

      The decision basically states that china is not fully compliant with the Bern Convention, but they are within the letter of the TRIPS agreement.

      Sometimes it not about the US trying to throw it's weight around, because sometimes countries have agreements they have to uphold just like individuals within a country.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by A Commentor (459578)
        From the article, China only lost a minor copyright issue. China refused to recognized copyrights for articles that are "unconstitutional or immoral." The WTO said they needed to. All of the other complaints were dismissed.
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:53AM (#26634955) Journal

        This is not about US laws being upheld on foreign soil. It's about two very specific international contracts between China, the US and many other countries. The two agreements in question are the Bern Convention and TRIPS.

        From the TRIPS wikipedia link:
        TRIPS was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994. Its inclusion was the culmination of a program of intense lobbying by the United States, supported by the European Union, Japan and other developed nations.

        From the Bern Convention wikipedia link:
        The United States initially refused to become party to the Convention since it would have required major changes in its copyright law, particularly with regard to moral rights, removal of general requirement for registration of copyright works and elimination of mandatory copyright notice. This led to the Universal Copyright Convention in 1952 [as an alternative to the Berne Convention] to accommodate the wishes of the United States. But on March 1, 1989, in the U.S. "Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988" came into force and the United States became a party to the Berne Convention, making the Universal Copyright Convention obsolete.

        The USA has always had a strong policy of exporting and forcing shitty laws (on)to other countries.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cowmonaut (989226)
          In our defense, I don't think you should legislate morals. But that's all I can say I agree with. Removing a requirement to register your copyright, and mandatory copyright notices aren't a great idea IMO. Please note though, that in the case of TRIPS it wasn't just the US. Corporations generally don't belong to a country but will have a lobbying presence in many. Many EU nations and Japan are just as much to blame for TRIPS as the US and arguing otherwise just shows how biased you are.
          • by langelgjm (860756)

            In our defense, I don't think you should legislate morals.

            The "moral rights" the GP was referring to aren't really "morals" in the common sense of the word. They refer to a particularly European view of copyright as protecting authors from misrepresentation and distortion of their work. Additionally, the U.S. actually has implemented a form of moral rights for specific visual works.

        • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix@gm ... m minus language> on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @08:53AM (#26637843)

          The way the U.S. Constitution is set up is quite unique with regards to international treatises and agreements. Once the U.S. enters into an international treatise, it is not only bound to act in accordance with the treatise in international relations, but the treatise also becomes a law of the land. And not only is it a law of the land, it is considered on par with other constitutional law, i.e., supreme over other laws.

          Because of this very unique structure (I am unaware of other major political players with similar constitutional provisions), the U.S. tends to have more of a vested interest in either trying to change the terms of an agreement so that it falls more in line with their own laws, or to abstain entirely from an international treatise (e.g., Kyoto).

          • by Pope (17780)

            And more importantly: Congress is still the ultimate decider on whether any treaties/agreements become the law of the land. How many treaties have Presidents signed over the years that Congress has vetoed, rendering them null and void by the letter of the law?

            • by againjj (1132651)

              And more importantly: Congress is still the ultimate decider on whether any treaties/agreements become the law of the land.

              Treaties, yes, congressional-executive agreements, yes, sole-executive agreements, no. Sole-executive agreements with foreign powers do not have congressional oversight, and in fact may be unknown to people outside the presidential administration. Oh, and treaties are "the law of the land" (meaning at the same level of power as the constitution), but agreements are not.

      • by Hao Wu (652581) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @06:28AM (#26636773) Homepage

        If you asked Britain in the 1800s, China had no right to refuse the "free trade" of importing opium no matter who it killed.

        Following China's defeat in the Second Opium War in 1858, China was forced to legalize opium and began massive domestic production. Importation of opium peaked in 1879 at 6,700 tons, and by 1906, China was producing 85% of the world's opium, some 35,000 tons, and 27% of its adult male population was addicted--13.5 million addicts consuming 39,000 tons of opium yearly. From 1880 to the beginning of the Communist era, the British attempted to discourage the use of opium in China, but this effectively promoted the use of morphine, heroin, and cocaine, further exacerbating the problem of addiction. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium#Prohibition_and_conflict_in_China [wikipedia.org]

        For losing to the British invasion, China had to pay $15 million in restitution to British merchants, open their ports to the drug trade, and cede Hong Kong to Britain.

        But they were only enforcing trade agreements!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Snaller (147050)

        "These are agreements the US and China both entered into voluntarily."

        Of course its not the whole country who are behind this, its a tiny minority of (honest?) politicians who have signed this. A lot of people are against the ability to do a job once and then expect to get paid over and over for it again.

        • by xero314 (722674)

          A lot of people are against the ability to do a job once and then expect to get paid over and over for it again.

          I suggest those people get out and vote for representatives that support their point of view. My guess is that those "lot" of people are not a majority and most likely not those people that actually spent the time and effort to produce works that happen to be easily copyable.

      • I wonder how voluntary many countries really enter these agreements. If you do not, the US and some other western countries will view you as a rogue state and boycott you. I feel many countries including China are blackmailed into accepting these agreements.

        • Just as importantly, it's not like the Chinese government and the US government plan to do much trade with each other; this is mainly about whether private citizens living in each country can engage in trade. From the citizens' point of view these treaties are decidedly non-voluntary, regardless of whether they're accepted (involuntary conditions) or declined (involuntary interference in trade).

        • by xero314 (722674)

          I wonder how voluntary many countries really enter these agreements.

          How much more voluntary can things be beyond saying "I will trade with you, but these are the conditions I will trade under." Would you rather a person be forced to trade with others even if the conditions are highly unfavorable to them? If you were saying that the western countries are saying "agree to our contract or we will destroy your country" then you might have a valid argument, but that is not the case you are trying to portray.

      • by grumpyman (849537)
        Sometimes it not about the US trying to throw it's weight around, because sometimes countries have agreements they have to uphold just like individuals within a country.

        Like NAFTA?

    • by chord.wav (599850)

      You are trying to be funny right? Or you just opened your eyes?

      In Argentina, if you want to start a new business you have to sign a US-provided paper and put your fingerprint on it stating that the busines will not support terrorists organizations. It IS a US-imposed requirement through the WTO or any other like that, can't remember exactly what agancy or boty required it. I know cause I had to do it.
      Regardless that I wouldn't support terrorist, and as stupid as it seems to me (Terrorist supporters tend to

    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      It's an international treaty - this gives the US rights against other countries, as well as providing rights to other countries against the US. Both sides should be able to rely on the treaty to be fulfilled by the other side. There is even an agreed method to arbitrate conflicts, and the US used that agreed method.
  • Sadly (Score:5, Funny)

    by longacre (1090157) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:06AM (#26634617) Homepage
    WTO knows who its soon-to-be-daddy is.
  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:17AM (#26634701) Homepage

    Do China's border measures, which allow customs officials to donate, auction, or sell to the rights holder confiscated goods, violate TRIPS?

    (FTFA)

    China can take your bootleg XP discs on grounds you pirated them...and then sell them? lolwut?

    • Quite fair actually (Score:5, Interesting)

      by femto (459605) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @03:57AM (#26636049) Homepage

      It seems quite fair to ask that the rights holder pay the cost of production if they choose to take possession the bootleg product, as they are then free to sell it for retail price. Why should the rights holder get a bunch of free product, which they would otherwise have to have paid to produce? If they rights holder doesn't want to retail the bootleg product themselves they can refuse to buy it.

      In this case the Chinese government seems to be ahead of the US in applying market principles..

      • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @05:01AM (#26636321) Journal

        I think the problem isn't as much the IP holder not wanting to buy the counterfeit product back. For all intents and purposes, the product could be tainted in some way or carry a liability of some sort. The problem is that if it was wrong for the pirate to sell the material based on the lack of permission from the copyright holder, then it is still wrong for anyone else to do the same.

        You see, law enforcement isn't supposed to be making a profit from other people's crimes whether you agree with those crimes or not. And because the IP holder doesn't want to purchase them, doesn't mean they lose any right to them. Otherwise the cops could create a legitimate counterfeiting scheme where they find all sorts of counterfeit merchandise but never the pirates and thereby are guaranteed a profit by either selling them to the IP holder or the public at large. Market principles simply don't apply unless copyright law says something to the effect of "the creator or owner of the copyright has the exclusive control over distribution unless the cops find someone breaking the law". As far as I know, it doesn't and as far as I know, the exclusive rights are guaranteed by treaties which don't hold those provisions.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          As rights holders are quite fond of telling everyone: you own the plastic of which the DVD is made, we own (and license) the rest. Now the boot is on the other foot, and the rights holders don't like it. The Chinese government isn't selling rights owners the IP (which the holder already owns). What they are selling them is a lump of plastic. There's no profit involved. All the Chinese government is saying is "we get the free lunch, not you". Quite justified, especially since the government has incurre
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by KDR_11k (778916)

            But is it right to force someone to buy something?

            • They're not forcing the rights holders to purchase the materials, they are offering them the right to purchase it as an alternative to destroying it - which is what happens in the US. Although they do have a third interesting option I saw from the article, give it to the Red Cross. I doubt that applies to CDs, but I can certainly see how the RC would benefit from a couple of cargo containers of counterfeit clothes.
        • You see, law enforcement isn't supposed to be making a profit from other people's crimes whether you agree with those crimes or not.

          So who gets the money from speeding tickets?

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            That is supposed to go to the general fund. Generally, it goes to the state first then gets passed back to the county or city in lesser amounts. But, that would be revenue and not profit.

      • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

        Oh, Ok. I guess I thought that meant Chinese Police selling the bootleg stuff on the street.

        donate, auction, or sell

        Actually...if China reserves the right to donate the bootleg material...they would NOT be talking about donating it back to the IP holder. That's not a donation. And auction? Why would you auction bootleg material back to the IP holder...that's an auction of one.

        On second thought...I am right. This isn't just about selling it back to the IP holder.

    • by Jaeph (710098)

      Actually, it's a bit more than that.

      I can make a bunch of copies to give away to people in china. A custom official can then confiscate those copies, then donate them to a charity which just gives them away anyways.

      -Jeff

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:20AM (#26634721)

    I spend a great deal of time in China. The real crux of the problem is that there is a WIDE gulf between the law and enforcement of the law (unless it involves anti-government behavior...then the gulf narrows quickly).

    I can easily go to any one of hundreds of locations that I know of (and I'm a damn foreigner) in Beijing and buy openly pirated movies and software. Sure, it is illegal to sell that stuff per the law books, but the government just doesn't care. And when they make some noise about caring, it's VERY temporary, the press gets their story and photos, and then it's back to business as usual.

    Government officials are profiting directly from winking at this illicit trade so there's little incentive for those lower on the totem poles to rock the boat. It's not uncommon for the owner of one of these illicit DVD/CD fabs to bring in the relative of some party official in as a "silent partner" to keep the heat off. Welcome to China. Now be quiet and enjoy your 10RMB DVD (complete with fancy packaging and liner notes) that can be had in most subway stations and street corners in Beijing...er...roughly 7% of the price I'd pay at my local Best Buy for the same title in similar packaging.....

    • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:35AM (#26634843) Journal

      There is the problem, full in your face style. No matter what trade agreements are agreed to, China is run differently internally than the USA or European Union countries. Going to the WTO is like asking a police officer to witness someone robbing your car all the while knowing that the police officer will not arrest the robber. I don't think anyone has a full grasp of what would happen if the US simply stopped doing business with China cold turkey style... So, this remains a problem.

      • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:09AM (#26635083) Homepage

        I guess what would happen is the US would go cold turkey...

        And China would retaliate by selling all their US dollar bonds. You think the economic crisis is bad _NOW_?

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Make the US dollar bonds worthless by spending made up USD like... like, um, politicians!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rich0 (548339)

          And China would retaliate by selling all their US dollar bonds. You think the economic crisis is bad _NOW_?

          Doubtful - at least as more than a symbolic gesture.

          Those bonds have substantial value to the Chinese. If they have 100 billion dollars worth of US bonds they're almost certain to get 100 billion dollars in cash over the next few decades as they mature. If they sell the whole thing for a million dollars then they get a million dollars worth of various currencies now. As an added bonus they REALLY ti

          • Also (Score:5, Informative)

            by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:44AM (#26640349)

            When you start talking severe economic moves, the US could always respond in kind. What happens if they declare the bonds to be worthless, as in they aren't going to pay? That negatively impacts their credit of course, but then maybe they are able to successfully spin it with their allies so that it doesn't. China is waging "economic war" against the US so they HAVE to respond in kind, etc, etc, etc. Or perhaps as you suggest there are actual war overtones and as part of that, the US freezes all China's assets, including the bonds. They find a semi-legal way to make them worthless, a way that doesn't piss off anyone else (and in fact maybe makes other bond holders happy since it doesn't devalue their bonds).

            There are many people who act like it is a case of China holding all the cards, and the US being at their mercy. Actually it's more a case of economic mutually assured destruction. While it is likely China could cause havoc to the US economy, it is a near certainty that the US response would decimate the Chinese economy. Hell it might not even be any real response. China trys to tank the US economy, the US doesn't respond, the economy tanks. Americans pull extremely far in to their shells and stop buying everything but essentials, and specifically good from China (since you know the media would have a field day with this). The Chinese economy grinds to a halt and now they have a major problem of civic unrest.

            Basically it isn't something either country stands to gain from thus it isn't likley to happen. China wants the US happy and buying their goods.

        • by Abcd1234 (188840)

          I guess what would happen is the US would go cold turkey...

          And China would retaliate by selling all their US dollar bonds. You think the economic crisis is bad _NOW_?

          That is *highly* unlikely. The United States is one of China's primary trading partners. And given that China a) has an economy heavily driven by a massive trade surplus, and b) is already suffering a massive economic blow thanks to the global financial crisis, the last thing they'd want to do is further damage that trade relationship.

          Sorry,

      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        I don't think anyone has a full grasp of what would happen if the US simply stopped doing business with China cold turkey style

        I'd say, it would benefit every country inbetween. I don't think US citizens would unanimously stop using cheaper china produced products; they'd just be a little less cheaper for passing through another country.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:59AM (#26635011)
      Personally during my time in China, I liked the fact that DVD's were so cheap.
      From what I've heard, DVD companies initially tried selling DVD's in China for the same price they do in Western countries, and only the top business owners can afford that type of thing.
      China also has _far_ more problems that copyright infringement to get fixed first.
      During my time there as an English teacher, the boss I had (oh and this is at a school that is a business venture of a big foreign university!) took 150RMB off one of the Chinese girls that worked with me. She only got 1500RMB a month, often had to work 4 hours over time every day, and didn't get paid for it despite the law saying she should be.
      I went into my boss' office with a photocopy of the letter he'd given her saying he was taking 10% of her wages, because she had forgotten to sign her name in one day. Asked him what was up with it and got really pissed off at him, was close to walking out. I hate seeing others treated that way.
      I've thought about bringing this to the attention of the university that is in charge of the English school, but I doubt they'd do anything. It piss' me off that many institutions from rich countries criticize the treatment of workers in China, but go full steam ahead and exploit it themselves. Bloody hypocrites.
      I'm going to post this anonymously as at the moment I don't want to take any risks for when I go back there.
      Anyway, as I said, China has more issues to deal with than copyright infringement. Despite all the problems in China though, I recommend going there, I absolutely love the country, the food, and most of the people. If they could sort out the pollution problems I think it would be the most beautiful country on earth.
      • by pr0nbot (313417)

        During my time there as an English teacher

        It piss' me off

        Eyed laugh if it weren't so funny.

    • by Sanat (702) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:30AM (#26635213)

      I was a visiting American Scientist during my prolonged stay in China and was the first American that many Chinese seen since the Chiang Kai-shek stuff from the 50's and 60's. I traveled some with the president of the American company where I worked (he was American Chinese) and so I had a lot of opportunities to explore many place that most Americans would not be admitted.

      I literally traveled from one end of China to another. I am rather a low key guy but because of my title then each Chinese providence would hold a banquet in my honor and so we would drink wu-shing pigu (5 star beer) and a clear liquor that I forget the name of but it was potent... anyway, I found the Chinese to be a most proper group of individuals and were good to their word... except if government was involved then they followed the ticket that was being trailed out... probably for self preservation.

      I really enjoyed the people and loved the environment... being raised originally on a farm in Ohio made me understand a lot more than if I was a city slicker. What I did find though was that the average person did what they had to do to get along in life. If it meant duplicating a song or a data file then it was not a problem for them... I must reiterate that their values were neither greater nor less than mine but rather that they did what they had to do to survive in the economy of that era.

      Sometimes I wish that I had transfered there permanently. My heart is very similar to that of the typical Chinese individual and they had a warmth that I find missing in today's life in America.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by troll8901 (1397145)

        wu-shing pigu (5 star beer)

        Suggest you call it either "wu-shing pi-chiu" or "wu-xin pi-jiu" instead. "Pigu" sounds like ass... I swear!

        clear liquor that I forget the name of but it was potent

        The Chinese, Japanese and other Asians are great at making wine out of anything - rice, barley, wheat, and so forth. One mouthful is enough to make me drunk.

        You've lead a very interesting life. And you're a real Scientist with a 3-digit ID!

      • by Dhalka226 (559740)

        What I did find though was that the average person did what they had to do to get along in life. If it meant duplicating a song or a data file then it was not a problem for them... I must reiterate that their values were neither greater nor less than mine but rather that they did what they had to do to survive in the economy of that era.

        This is a... strange couple of sentences for me. You're really equating "surviv[ing] in the economy of that era" to copying a song or program? If we're really going to cou

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          I suspect a trip to most countries in Africa would refresh the mind as to what it means to do what one needs to do to survive. It certainly has nothing to do with putting a pirated song on your knockoff iPod.

          But it does have a hell of a lot to do with selling a CD of pirated songs for 5 yuan to somebody who can afford an ipod.
          Try not to automatically assume someone is an idiot just because you don't immediately see where they are coming from.

      • by dtmos (447842)

        I was ... the first American that many Chinese seen (sic) since the Chiang Kai-shek stuff from the 50's and 60's.

        Chiang left the mainland in 1949 [wikipedia.org]. During the 1950s and 1960s he was President of the ROC, of course, but I wasn't aware of any significant numbers of Americans on the mainland during this period, the height of the Cold War. Did you mean "the 1940s," or is there a facet of Sino-American relations of which I am not aware?

    • Kindof a nice little baseline on the actual intrinsic value of such things.  7%.  Good to know.
    • by Snaller (147050)

      Of course if the westeners were less greedy, they could reduce the price they want from this stuff. A "fair price" is not "what you can get away with"

    • by Artemis3 (85734)

      It is the same in my country, it is the same in Peru, it is probably the same in most latin american countries, and i'm sure its pretty much the same in most countries. The fact that you can see people in the street selling unauthorized copies of movies, music, games and software is not going to change. Internet is putting then at some risk, because some will download the stuff for free to watch/play and delete rather than dealing with physical media. If the WTO starts getting nosy and bothersome, most coun

    • by WiiVault (1039946)
      Yeah I laugh every time I read an article like this, you don't have to go as far as China to buy pirated shit, its everywhere in Mexico. There is really no point in enforcement because despite what they tell us, most countries couldn't give a shit if its happening
  • Haha (Score:3, Funny)

    by Idiomatick (976696) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:24AM (#26634761)

    If the wto made a ruling against China which will obviously be ignored what are they going to do. Punitive measures? Oh lets stop trade with China, great idea. Kind of a silly system if you ask me.

    • by piojo (995934)

      If the wto made a ruling against China which will obviously be ignored what are they going to do. Punitive measures? Oh lets stop trade with China, great idea. Kind of a silly system if you ask me.

      If you think the economy is bad now, what do you think it will be like when we hurt every business that deals with china?

      • > If you think the economy is bad now, what do you think it will be like when we hurt every business that deals with china?

        It would really suck. Somebody has to provide us with cheap shit. Otherwise we'll have to start working hard for it ourselves.
      • by Toonol (1057698)
        Not as bad as it will hurt China, who can no longer sell them. The important point is, it would severely hurt both countries, so nothing will come of this. It's sabre-rattling to try to get the best deal.
    • Re:Haha (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:59AM (#26635007) Journal

      If the wto made a ruling against China which will obviously be ignored what are they going to do. Punitive measures? Oh lets stop trade with China, great idea. Kind of a silly system if you ask me.

      The punitive measures are not "lets stop trade with China".

      Normally the WTO gives the wronged party permission to institute tariffs/duties on specific goods from the offending country, equal to the losses sustained by the aggrieved. Here's a recent example [northwestern.edu] of the USA raising tariffs on cheese imported from Europe.

    • All the bras will become more expensive. Think of the WOMEN!

  • Did the US outsource their Legal prosecution to the RIAA lawyers? jeez.
  • Just because the wise US forefathers saw patents as a meaningful concept doesn't mean everyone across the world share the same wisdom.
    • by langelgjm (860756)

      Just because the wise US forefathers saw patents as a meaningful concept doesn't mean everyone across the world share the same wisdom.

      Well, China became a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1985, so this is not exactly news. (Also, the U.S. complaint didn't have anything to do with patents)

      Though no one is going to deny the influence of the U.S. in pushing stronger IP protection throughout the world, patents by no means originated with the U.S. Furthermore, as a practical matter, since the vast majority of countries in the world are parties to the Berne Convention, the Paris Convention, and TRIPS, e

  • We shouldn't even be trading with China. By doing so we are propping up a repressive regime.

    First it was Nixon's ill conceived openess policy with China, then GW allowing them into the WTO.

    We would have been better off with India as a manufacturing base.

  • IPKat (Score:5, Informative)

    by thesp (307649) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @02:39AM (#26635661)
    IPKat has a very nice analysis, as usual, here:

    http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2009/01/breaking-news-wto-panel-report-on-us.html [blogspot.com].

    However, IPKat concludes that it's more of a score-draw than a loss by the US.
  • by Jack Sombra (948340) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @05:37AM (#26636527)
    As the USA just ignores WTO when it suits them, like in the case of Internet Gambling and Antigua, do they honestly expect a country like China to pay any attention to WTO? And god help USA if it try's to "punish" China, as China could make the dollar worth less than a Zimbabwean dollar and blast the US economy back to barter system overnight

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