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A New Approach to U.S. Copyright Policy against Piracy in China
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Introduction Over the past decade, intellectual property has increasingly dominated the world economy, and intellectual property rights have become the core issue of international trade. Since the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) requirements of the WTO was implemented, extending and harmonizing intellectual property rights has become one of the most significant policy agenda in many countries. The ongoing debate over intellectual property rights in the U.S.-China trade illustrates this point well. While U.S. exports to China have been growing faster than sales to any other country in the last decade, exceeding $16 billion in 2000 (Alden & McGregor, 2001), China has been criticized as the evil pirate free-riding on U.S. information products. By engaging in unfair competition, this pirate has brought about the greatest trade deficit in the U.S. Indeed, every year, the U.S. loses more than $2 billion of revenues due to intellectual property piracy in China (Yu, 2001). Policy tasks of harmonizing this conflict became more acute when China officially became a WTO member, following the approval of its accession protocol including the TRIPs Agreement in 2001. Similar to most developing countries, China’s priority has been the integration into the global economy and the acquisition of a modern industrial sector through the transfer of advanced technology from the West. While foreign countries saw this as a positive investment opportunity, they were also very concerned about the lack of an effective legal system to protect intellectual property rights. As China welcomes the accession to global markets that WTO membership brings, it must acknowledge its WTO obligation to provide strong enforcement of intellectual property rights against its notorious torrent of piracy. Although a substantial body of studies has focused on the role of international intellectual property rights in economic development, the only thing on which there is consensus is that “there is a complex feedback relationship between the scope of a country’s intellectual property laws and its stage of economic development” (Post, 1998: 1). For a long time developed Western countries have emphasized the positive benefits of strengthened intellectual property rights (Park, 1996; Samuelson, 1998; Maskus, 2000). On the other hand, intellectual property rights in developing or underdeveloped countries

Authors: Mun, Seung-Hwan.
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2
Introduction
Over the past decade, intellectual property has increasingly dominated the world
economy, and intellectual property rights have become the core issue of international
trade. Since the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs)
requirements of the WTO was implemented, extending and harmonizing intellectual
property rights has become one of the most significant policy agenda in many countries.
The ongoing debate over intellectual property rights in the U.S.-China trade
illustrates this point well. While U.S. exports to China have been growing faster than
sales to any other country in the last decade, exceeding $16 billion in 2000 (Alden &
McGregor, 2001), China has been criticized as the evil pirate free-riding on U.S.
information products. By engaging in unfair competition, this pirate has brought about
the greatest trade deficit in the U.S. Indeed, every year, the U.S. loses more than $2
billion of revenues due to intellectual property piracy in China (Yu, 2001). Policy tasks of
harmonizing this conflict became more acute when China officially became a WTO
member, following the approval of its accession protocol including the TRIPs Agreement
in 2001. Similar to most developing countries, China’s priority has been the integration
into the global economy and the acquisition of a modern industrial sector through the
transfer of advanced technology from the West. While foreign countries saw this as a
positive investment opportunity, they were also very concerned about the lack of an
effective legal system to protect intellectual property rights. As China welcomes the
accession to global markets that WTO membership brings, it must acknowledge its WTO
obligation to provide strong enforcement of intellectual property rights against its
notorious torrent of piracy.
Although a substantial body of studies has focused on the role of international
intellectual property rights in economic development, the only thing on which there is
consensus is that “there is a complex feedback relationship between the scope of a
country’s intellectual property laws and its stage of economic development” (Post, 1998:
1). For a long time developed Western countries have emphasized the positive benefits of
strengthened intellectual property rights (Park, 1996; Samuelson, 1998; Maskus, 2000).
On the other hand, intellectual property rights in developing or underdeveloped countries


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