Dissertation: Piracy, Counterfeiting, Patent Violation

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[. . .] "Digital equipments are commonly found to be copied" (Lynch 2004).

Different varieties of counterfeit Apple iPhone are easily available which greatly resembles from the original product in their looks, software and quality as well. These counterfeit products usually appear about a month or two after the original product goes on for sale, although it appears to be exactly the same product in looks as well as usage but the price tag for the fake item is just a fraction as compared to the original product, in our case the Apple products are a good example for this. "Many of the top brands are available in their relative cheaper counterfeit versions" (Broadhurst 2005).

Fake luxury goods

Counterfeiting of luxury items is also very common in China, wallets of Louis Vuitton are sold for as little as four dollars. The products of Prada, Hermes, Burberry, Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Givenchy are particularly very popular with the shoppers and counterfeiters. High quality Prada and Gucci bags come alongside complete forged certificates which tend to show the originality of the items. "Forging documents is a thriving business" (Balkun 2006).

The issue of counterfeiting is a very serious one both inside China as well as outside it. Some three fourth of the entire luxury items being seized at the ports in Italy and France originate from China. The suppliers who sell these items often separately ship the labels from the items which are later on sewn when the items are cleared by the customs. The producers often produce labels and goods in different locations in order to avoid being detected.

According to many analysts the quality of counterfeiting is improved over time, this has led to many of the great experts being fooled in identifying which is the original item and which is fake. This has led the counterfeit items to easily make their way into the proper distribution channels from where they go to the stores where ordinary people are fooled and they purchase the fake thing instead of the real one.

A study carried out by the Italian authorities concluded that during the early 2000s the fake watches of Rolex were so perfectly made including their internal and external identifying marks which are stamped at real Rolex that the professionals from Rolex had a tough time in differentiating the original ones from the fake, here the selling of a fake Rolex watch is worth twelve thousand dollars which was originally made of just twenty five hundred dollars. "Sellers often sell fake products with the price of the original" (Carrabine 2004).

In the same study, it was reported that many parts of luxury goods were being manufactured in the southern part of China which were later on taken to Europe and thereafter assembled and distributed with the assistance from the Naples mafia and with the final touch being provided by the craftsmen of Venice. "Product piracy attracts investments from the far sides of the globe" (Stiansen 1999).

Most of the buyers in Europe as well as in other foreign countries where the counterfeit item goes know that the items they are purchasing are not real. A media executive working in Shanghai who earns eighty thousand dollars yearly gave an interview to the Washington Post in which he said that he realizes the quality of counterfeit items which is very remarkable, and the price is about a tenth of the original item. He also said that he never felt any sort of embarrassment in carrying a fake item rather than an original. "Digital devices are commonly found to be pirated" (Matthews 2002).

Through this interview, many things can be assessed regarding the taste and preferences of the common people as well as those of the upper-middle class in China. Most of them don't just go for the name of the brand and rather go for the style and quality the items have. Since these cheaper alternatives have a huge demand from all sectors of the society including the rich therefore it is common to see that these fake versions are more sold in the market as compared to the original. "Fake products often make more sales due to a cheap price tag" (Sell 2003).

In terms of varieties, the counterfeiters are also very quick to adapt to any new changes made in the original product. They also even tend to introduce their own versions of the original product in which some of them are very popular in the general public. "Fake products also come in different varieties" (Murray 2004).

Pirated music

Piracy is accountable for ninety five percent of the entire CD and music sales in China. It is very common to buy a CD on the markets and streets of Shanghai by any Western artists like Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Madonna, Sinead O'Conner, Leonard Bernstein, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga for as little as fifty cents per piece. There are many local favorites available as well such as Red Sun alongside many other Chinese revolutionary songs.

Pirated music grosses two billion dollars per year and accounts for five percent of the forty billion dollars worth of music industry in China. The trade of pirated music is very well organized which has its close ties with the organized crime. There are reportedly some forty factories in China which produces compact discs in which most are purchased by the domestic consumers. The sale of DVDs and CDs including the pirated copies have increased greatly in recent times, in 2001 it was accounted to have one hundred and nine million unit sales whereas by 2010 this amount have crossed the one hundred and fifty million level.

Piracy's effect on music industry

It is commonly observed that the record companies tend to take less interest in setting up distribution networks, their main focus is concentrated more towards the management of talent and making more profit through producing better quality artists rather than selling the records. In many cases, it has also been seen that the artists spend their own capital to promote themselves and the companies for which they perform do not participate in this task, here many artists often tend to use different varieties of social media for their outreach.

It is estimated that some twenty or so quality albums are being produced in China per year. Many of the star musicians earn money by making appearances, performing live or by doing endorsement deals. Concerts are a huge source for promoting any talent, here many artists tend to share the spotlight so that the sponsors get the most from their money. Many artists goes into contracts with different sponsoring companies and rely on this as their main source of income, therefore it is through these facts that we see the impact of piracy on the music industry in China as well as the rest of the world which is huge.

A well-known singer in China named Wang Lee Ho gave an interview to the International Herald Tribune in which he said that the piracy has already killed the music industry in China and that it is long dead. This fact greatly frustrates his life and that of other artists as well. A senior executive of Warner Music Asia gave his opinion to the International Herald Tribune in which he stated that there exists no income from royalties therefore the Chinese artists more often record single songs which are for radio play as compared to making albums for the general consumers, and that artists are now looking elsewhere to fund up their rock-star lifestyle.

Factor of free downloads

It was argued in The Economist that if we think for a moment that all the bad predictions regarding the music industry turns out as a fact, efforts by record companies and governments to shut down websites which shares files freely such as Pirate Bay end in failure then in this condition piracy will become a huge menace.

It will result in the common person not buying legitimate CDs. Consumers will also fade away from the iTunes stores of Apple which sells original music tracks. Consumers will also refuse to pay the monthly subscriptions of many different services which offer genuine music items thereby collapsing the related firm's businesses. All of this can be imagined elsewhere as the extreme end point which the industry might face in the future but in China this has already come and passed.

Gary Chen, who is a digital entrepreneur and a former music promoter, said that things are so bad for the record companies that the average Chinese consumes are now not willing to pay even a penny for the purchase of recorded music. He launched a website named Top100.cn in 2006 which offered many different sorts of music to be downloaded through the system of monthly subscription. The prices being offered to the consumers were low but eventually not low enough.

Music fans in China were so impressed by knockoff CDs that they were used to get… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Piracy, Counterfeiting, Patent Violation.  (2012, March 20).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/piracy-counterfeiting-patent-violation/1869207

MLA Format

"Piracy, Counterfeiting, Patent Violation."  20 March 2012.  Web.  22 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/piracy-counterfeiting-patent-violation/1869207>.

Chicago Format

"Piracy, Counterfeiting, Patent Violation."  Essaytown.com.  March 20, 2012.  Accessed July 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/piracy-counterfeiting-patent-violation/1869207.