Print 26 comment(s) - last by winterspan.. on Feb 8 at 6:08 AM

Three Chinese companies are in hot legal water for providing access to infringed copyrighted material

Looks like Google/YouTube isn't the only online giant in trouble for yielding copyrighted material in its searches.   China's top search engine, Inc, has been brought to court by three major record companies, Universal Music Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) Ltd and Warner Music Hong Kong Ltd, for allegedly giving access to copyrighted music files.

The companies have asked for a court order to force to remove links to sites with infringing material, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, IFPI, the organization handling the company's complaints said in a released statement.  The IFPI is the parent organization of the RIAA, well know in the U.S. for its use of strong arm tactics to try to curb file sharing.

The IFPI announced that these claims against have been filed in a Bejing court.  The IFPI also announced that Universal Music Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Hong Kong) Ltd, Warner Music Hong Kong Ltd as well as Gold Label Entertainment Ltd are also seeking legal action against the Chinese media giant Inc and its search engine Sogou.  The action against is separate to the complaint.

Yahoo China also is in trouble with IFPI.  The site, which is chiefly owned by Alibaba and only loosely affiliated with Yahoo in U.S., has nonetheless been a headache for its American namesake.  The U.S. government recently blasted the site for assisting in the jailing of a dissident.  Now the IFPI is seeking punishment against Yahoo China for refusing to comply with a December ruling by the Beijing Higher People's Court.  The ruling stated that Yahoo China violated Chinese law by committing mass copyright infringement.  The company has thusfar rejected the ruling.

Yahoo China,, and were all unavailable for comment.  Likewise, Chinese court officials declined to remark on the case. 

John Kennedy, the IFPI chief executive, complains about the lack of respect for copyright by Chinese companies, stating in a written statement, "The music industry in China wants partnership with the technology companies -- but you cannot build partnership on the basis of systemic theft of copyrighted music and that is why we have been forced to take further actions."

The IFPI alleges that 99 percent of all music download in China is pirated, which costs the music industry millions a year.

China has vowed to get tougher on piracy in the force of international criticism, yet the government has made it hard in recent years to get some materials by legal means.  China recently banned the import of U.S. DVDs, leaving citizens with the unfortunate choice between not watching or joining the record number of pirates.

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RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By BansheeX on 2/7/2008 5:24:39 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you're placing the blame solely on China for our problems? You underestimate how dependent we've become on China. We used to have a surplus with them, but now they're more productive and capitalistic than we are, and they have 3 billion consumers just waiting to take the place of non-productive Americans when our economy finally falls apart. It isn't the duty of other countries to subsidize our borrow and spend economy, though they've been propping up our currency for a good many years now under the delusion that it's in their best interest to do so. It's going to take some time to tear down malls here and and replace them with factories again. Government overregulation, Keynsian economics, and total abandonment of an asset-backed currency has set the stage for financial ruin. Please don't any newbs post graphs of nominal stock increases against government-measured inflation to try and paint a rosier picture.

RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By joemoedee on 2/7/2008 6:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
It's very complicated, and I'm certain that I don't fully grasp the whole scope of the trade/economy between China and the US, nor will I ever claim to.

With that said, my view...

How I see it, for a long time the Chinese Yuan was pegged with the USD. It was consistently undervalued against the stronger USD. Due to this, the USD could buy a lot of Chinese product.

The cost of materials and labor was already low in China, and when combined with the high value of the USD it made a lot of "business sense" for many manufacturers to relocate their production to China, or to import from China.

Bottom line, it meant profit for the businesses that chose to utilize China.

However, I do believe we'll see some turnaround in this due to the relatively weak dollar. (I'd almost suspect that the dollar is so weak on purpose because of the trade imbalance, and to spur the return of some overseas business. However, I'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists)

After the peg was dropped, the value of the dollar plays very heavily into the current value of the Yuan. A weak dollar = stronger yuan = less profit and incentive to utilize China in the production of goods.

Time will tell what ultimately happens.

RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By borowki on 2/7/2008 1:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
The current situation is not that hard to understand if we treat money as just another tradable good. The US dollar is by far the currency of choice in global commerce. There's probably more of it circulating outside the country than in. The expansion of trade and rapid development of countries like China and India means ever greater demand for the dollar. In response, America, holding a monopoly over its production, produces and exports more of it. A large current account deficit in that sense is systematic. It's a reflection of greater prosperity in the developing world.

RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By BansheeX on 2/7/2008 2:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
That status is constantly dropping, or haven't you been watching the dollar's value compared to gold or other currencies dropping like a rock? Inflation is much higher than the fed is letting on with their manipulated measurements and individuals are waking up to the irrationality of buying bonds even if foreign governments aren't. Foreign central banks are going to stop loaning all this credit to non-productive Americans who can't pay it back after the real estate bubble, the dollar is going to lose international status, and all of those dollars in circulation and liquidity are going to come home to roost, causing hyperinflation.

RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By borowki on 2/7/2008 8:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point. American T-bills aren't just loans, they're useful instruments in of itself. China's banking system is weak. As they expand their economy they need US dollars to stabilize their own currency. There's nothing irrational about it.

RE: and why do we keep doing it?
By BansheeX on 2/8/2008 12:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
No, China's central bank is only weak in that they continue to assume that they need to "stabilize" their currency rather than let their currency rise against the dollar as the free market would dictate. Once again, they are not dependent on borrow-and-spend Americans as they have plenty of consumers to take our place. If the dollar collapses, their stock market would decline in nominal terms, and perhaps due to an irrational fixation on nominal values, but the actual purchasing power of their currency would increase because they would no longer be subsidizing our extravagant non-productive lifestyle. USA T-Bills are a terrible investment right now for anyone in the world. Exports are only useful to countries who produce and are able to pay off their debt.

By SandmanWN on 2/7/2008 9:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you're placing the blame solely on China for our problems?

We've asked for a relief in import restrictions for 15 years and we've been spoon fed tiny improvements while we openly accept just about anything China sends our way.
We used to have a surplus with them

The first link I had in my post shows we haven't had a positive deficit with China since 1985. Thats 22 years and counting with a massively negative deficit. I don't remember, and I'm sure nobody else can recall, exactly when we had this supposed positive balance in trade you speak of.

The only people we have to blame is ourselves. And its time we pull ourselves out of the bottomless pit that China has become on our economy.

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