The protection of intellectual property rights is difficult for the citizens of the People’s Republic of China. Chengsi (45), mentions that this kind of rights are something very foreign to culture of the Chinese as they are a people who shared their ideas with each other. Undoubtedly, the awareness of the public with regard to intellectual property is very limited. China has long been placed under the influences of both Confucianism and Socialism where the ideas contradict the principles of Intellectual Property Rights protection.
As cited in the work of Frietsch and Wang (11), “Confucianism considers learning taking place by copying and imitation is a form of flattery” while “Socialism believes that in inventing for creating, individuals were engaged in social activities that drew on repository of knowledge that belonged to all members of society. ” Another issue why copyright infringement is prevalent in the People’s Republic Issue is the manner by which the court handles the problem. Frietsch and Wang (12) mentions two ways by which IPR issues could be resolved: through the judicial approach and administrative approach.
As it has been earlier mentioned, conflicts tend to arise when the administrative approach is used to solve IPR issues. On the other hand, citizens find the judicial approach costly and complicated. Until the 1980s, knowledge in the People’s Republic of China was transferred from the academia to the industry for free. During this period, research and development were handled by the universities and other institutions of learning whilst enterprises were only concerned with production. It is then in this tradition that the transfer of knowledge was taken for granted and thought as something for the public, which everyone can use for free.
Thus, as it has been mentioned, the concept of knowledge as a private property, as provided in IPR regulations was something rather new to the citizens of the People’s Republic of China. Corruption is another issue that inhibits the proper enforcement of the IPR regulations. There are times when local protectionism lessens the strength of central legislation or the power of law enforcement, Chengsi (34) mentions, as local governments who may not want to support the work of anti-piracy supervisors often create problems during investigation regarding IPR and at the same time, hiding the counterfeiters in safer places.
There are many forms of IPR infringement and/or counterfeiting in the People’s Republic of China. One of the most well known type of infringements are cinema films on DVD and also the DVD standard itself which was used by Chinese producers without procuring a license (Friestch & Wang 10). Product Piracy, defined as partly exact and partly less accurate copies of products, and generally of lesser quality still exists in China especially the infringement of trademark of applications of individual enterprises.
The infringement of IPR in the People’s Republic of China certainly goes beyond the entertainment industry which reduces the revenue of recording artists, producer and actors, but infringement of IPR and counterfeiting in China involves industries such as automotive and aviation parts, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals manufacturing, explains Kanji (1264). Because of this, the health, safety and revenue of people within and outside the People’s Republic of China are highly threatened. Aside from this, it also increases the trade deficit being experienced by the US, one of China’s major trade partners.
According to the report of the State Council of China, as mentioned in Kanji (1264), the value of pirated goods in the country, in 2001 alone, is between nineteen to twenty-four billion dollars, which then accounts for one-fourth of the 2001 U. S-China trade deficit. IPR infringement, or otherwise more popularly known as counterfeiting and piracy creates an exploding crisis that threatens the economic security of most nations all over the world. The United States is one of its greatest victims, losing about two hundred fifty billion dollars each year due to the pressing problem of piracy.
Joiner (15) says that this number could still increase which could then result to the Americans losing their jobs, of whom seven hundred fifty thousand have already been victimized. In the global setting, trade in counterfeit and pirated products accounts for five percent of the worldwide trade. Each and every time a person buys or cell a counterfeit, this threaten the reputation of the company who is producing the authentic ones which could then affect the incentive for the investment in research and development which could then generally hurt the company.