BEIJING—According to Reuters, the U.S. International Trade Commission said in May that Chinese piracy and counterfeiting of U.S. software and other intellectual property cost American businesses around $48 billion and 2.1 million jobs in 2009. It’s a safe bet that those figures do not include pirated porn, of which there is no doubt a lot in China.
Reports out of the great nation also indicate that the government wants its citizens to watch more homemade content, which would lead one to assume they’d try harder to stamp out pirated foreign content, but again, that probably does not hold true for porn, the production of which is officially frowned upon and punished by the government.
Whatever the true intent of the government, one might be excused for not being particularly impressed with the latest haul of counterfeited content just announced by the Chinese, which did not include any foreign content at all. According to Reuters, “China's latest crackdown on intellectual property piracy has netted more than 20,000 fake Tibetan-language text books, 90,000 copies of a well-known Chinese film as well as porn films, state media said on Friday.”
The film is Let the Bullets Fly, released in 2010 by award-winning director Jiang Wen. The text book haul was the result of an apparent scheme by a single individual to rip off schools in Tibet in 2009-10 by selling them the fake textbooks. That even happens in the States.
Details about the seized fake “porn discs” were not released. The state reported that 18 people were given various jail terms of up to six years for the contraband text books and the film, but no mention of punishment for the porn, the mention of which was probably tacked on for use in headlines.
Of course, none of this will assuage the concerns of foreign owners of intellectual property that is being illegally copied and sold in China, but maybe that’s the point.