U.S. government to pressure China on piracy

President Barack Obama’s administration was expected from day one to be hard on piracy, and now another U.S. official believes China will be a “significant focus” of the Obama administration’s anti-piracy experts.

“I don’t have any illusions,” said John Morton, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) assistant secretary, during a recent meeting.  “While not underestimating the challenge, and it’s sobering, my view is while I’m in this job I need to do everything I can.”

U.S. government to pressure China on piracy
Image courtesy of AFP

The Chinese government is still under continued pressure to deal with piracy and counterfeiting — both of which are major businesses that supposedly cause copyright owners and companies billions in lost revenue.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance blames China for accepting widespread piracy:  around 95 percent of entertainment software, 90 percent for music, and 82 percent of software used in China is pirated, according to the group.

The United States has launched “Operation Global Hoax,” a new multi-national campaign targeting pirated material and counterfeit goods, while “Operation In Our Sites” shut down nine file sharing websites.

Illegal download sites have largely not been fazed by increasing government pressure, as a simple shutdown yields only temporary results.

Any government official who thinks trying to respond “forcefully” against piracy in an anti-piracy war is just setting the government up for failure.  If the government tries to battle piracy the same way as the current war on drugs and war on terrorism, then the “war on piracy” is doomed already.

I believe a proper first step has to be for copyright groups to start providing accurate estimates regarding piracy rates — and what piracy costs the industry.  It’s obviously difficult to try and predict accurate numbers, but piracy losses appear to be greatly inflated by rights holders.