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China Faces Piracy Suit Over Censorship Software

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the green-dam-blues dept.

Censorship 113

angry tapir writes "Web software filtering vendor CyberSitter has filed a $2.2B lawsuit against the Chinese government, two Chinese software makers, and seven major computer manufacturers for their distribution of Green Dam Youth Escort, a controversial Web filtering package the Chinese government had mandated to be installed on computers sold there. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that Green Dam copied code from CyberSitter."

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I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664618)

If the USA did this, it could remove itself from the lawsuit claiming "Sovereign Immunity" and it's game over. Are you telling us that China doesn't have this out clause?

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (4, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664682)

Are you telling us that China doesn't have this out clause?

It does not have this clause in China, because in countries like that suing the government is as bizarre and unimaginable as, say, defecating on the Moon (without spacesuit).

It does not have this clause in the US either — for entirely different reasons... If you were to RTFA, you would've known, that the suit was filed in the Los Angeles federal court.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664730)

Asking the USA for a judgment against China? Sounds like even if they win they don't get anything.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664846)

Asking the USA for a judgment against China? Sounds like even if they win they don't get anything.

China has plenty of assets in the US, which can be ceased, if the judge says so...

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (3, Funny)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664924)

So... Maybe a judge could "alter" the judgement such that the Chinese Government would actually owe over say.... $6 trillion? You know... in that whole punitive way?

It'd certainly lower the burden of those interest payments our lovely federal government has to make... Even if only for a few months.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (2, Funny)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665000)

And to clarify... the punitive part would be awarded to the federal government in scenario above... Probably should've specified that.

^bad

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665090)

There's no need going over this legal shit. You may as well just print the money and pay the debt ;-)

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665108)

That would work brilliantly, until China does the exact same thing to us. The whole "being invested in other nations" thing works both ways. China owns plenty of US debt. Of course, that's assuming that us fucking over the entire relationship between us and china won't cause china to declare war. The main disincentive for war between us and china is that we depend on each other economically. If either country is stupid enough to collapse that link, we're all potentially fucked.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665170)

1. If they did the same thing to us... we'd still be over them 6 tril...
2. Did you really take that seriously?

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665590)

That would work brilliantly, until China does the exact same thing to us. The whole "being invested in other nations" thing works both ways. China owns plenty of US debt. Of course, that's assuming that us fucking over the entire relationship between us and china won't cause china to declare war. The main disincentive for war between us and china is that we depend on each other economically. If either country is stupid enough to collapse that link, we're all potentially fucked.

They knew we had the Federal Reserve and fiat currency before they lent all of that money to us.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665680)

(insert smiling Chinese here)

Very well, we will pay. To do that we will have to call all our foreign debt due first. In other words, fork it over! You can't? It would cripple your economy and essentially make you bankrupt? Too bad. US, would you please be so kind and file for chapter 7?

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666284)

It'd certainly lower the burden of those interest payments our lovely federal government has to make...

And how does forcing the Chinese government to hand over 6 trillion dollars to an american COMPANY help in any possible way the interest payments your lovely federal government has to make? If it was being handed over to an individual MAYBE that would help as 6 trillion would have a hefty amount of income tax for a private citizen. But you know as well as I do a corporation/company is likely set up in a place where it pays little to no tax at all.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667326)

Sure, you'd just have to stop running a deficit on your government balance as after that, noone in the whole wide world would ever consider giving a loan to the US anymore.

Think y'all could manage that?

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

mindstormpt (728974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665076)

Not really, there's a little something called diplomatic immunity on the way.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665500)

You have absolutely no idea what the term "diplomatic immunity" means. I'd love to see your attempt to apply the legal principles behind that concept to the matter at hand.

The phrase "this ought to be good" comes to mind.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668666)

Asking the USA for a judgment against China? Sounds like even if they win they don't get anything.

China has plenty of assets in the US, which can be ceased, if the judge says so...

Or seized, even.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665666)

Umm.... is it possible in the US to reject a judge based on knowing he is biased? Although, in this case, it might be necessary to reject the court based on a biased position.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (5, Interesting)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664776)

Exactly. The makers of this software aren't hoping for a settlement. They just want to make the rights infringement public, and lawsuits attract publicity.

Everyone knows that Chinese "programmers" cheerfully copy whatever they get their hands on. This lawsuit is the legal equivalent of a press release.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665158)

I know this is /. and bashing China gives you sweet free karma, but *I* am a Chinese programmer, you insensitive clod!

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665436)

So, quit posting on slashdot, and program something better than Green River. Rescue your government's integrity. Good grief. Almost everything China produces is an inferior copy of someone else's work. Stand up and be a man, alright? MAKE SOMETHING ORIGINAL THAT'S WORTH A SHIT!

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665596)

If programmers in China pirate, does that make you a Chinese programmer if you pirate? The US is filled with Chinese programmers!

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0, Offtopic)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666256)

I know this is /. and bashing China gives you sweet free karma

I've observed that bashing Iran gives you sweeter Karma.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (4, Interesting)

jsse (254124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665536)

Exactly. The makers of this software aren't hoping for a settlement. They just want to make the rights infringement public, and lawsuits attract publicity.

On top of making a publicity, it's actually a profitable move. It's so obvious(at least to civilians Chinese like me) the China Government is intending to create another listed company by giving monoplization power to a private company created Green Dam. Law suits like that, international or local, would greatly affect the risk profile and directly affect the estimation of stock value. For mutual benefit, that listed company would pay for the royality eventually. CyberSitter could cheerfully accept compensation as a settlement in the future.

Everyone knows that Chinese "programmers" cheerfully copy whatever they get their hands on. This lawsuit is the legal equivalent of a press release.

To tell you the true, in the case of Green Dam, these programmers are not copying codes, they copied the binary directly, and they don't even bother to change the company name in the executables. XD

But you're right in the sentance "Chinese porgrammers cheerfully whatever they get their hands on". In fact, they're the huge supporter of opensource programming. (I'm recruiting opensource programmers there and I've never found short of them. :)

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665722)

But you're right in the sentance "Chinese porgrammers cheerfully whatever they get their hands on". In fact, they're the huge supporter of opensource programming. (I'm recruiting opensource programmers there and I've never found short of them. :)

In Communist China, closed source opens you?

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

VoltageX (845249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665872)

Ah, but do they give back to the open source community? My experience with the AF9015/35 TV tuner drivers says no.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666656)

From a Chinese dictionary:

Free Software / Open Source - a term used by western barbaric white apes to denote a futile gesture of recognizing a superior culture by providing it with a token gift of source code, with no obligations, in attempt to claim participation in its great cultural advances.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0, Offtopic)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665850)

defecating on the Moon (without spacesuit).

I would be down with that.

It could be like 2 girls, 1 cup... ON THE MOOOOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!!!

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667090)

They aren't suing them in China, that'd be amazingly stupid. Instead they're suing the Chinese Government in Los Angeles, California, so it's just a publicity stunt.

From TFA: 'Santa Barbara, California-based Solid Oak Software, which sells the Cybersitter program, filed the $2.2 billion civil action in federal court in Los Angeles. '

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (2, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664862)

If the USA did this, it could remove itself from the lawsuit claiming "Sovereign Immunity" and it's game over. Are you telling us that China doesn't have this out clause?

Actually, sovereign immunity means you can't sue the government if they pass a law that affects you in a negative way. It doesn't give the government free reign to ignore existing laws. The government has to pay license fees for copyrighted material just like everyone else. Do you think the U.S. government didn't pay for all the copies of Microsoft Office it uses. (Granted they probably get a great deal on some sort of bulk licensing agreement, but still, I'm sure Microsoft gets paid.)

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665126)

Whether or not the country is "allowed" to do something is entirely irrelevant. If the government has the force to back it up, it's allowed to do it. Unless you want to start an armed coup and overthrow the government based on a licensing snafu, you're shit out of luck if they decide that they don't want to pay you anything.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665338)

Unless you want to start an armed coup and overthrow the government based on a licensing snafu,

Why so extreme? There are a lot of punitive measures that can be leveraged against a foreign government, like protectionist tariffs etc... But in this special case, the US is in no position to strongarm their biggest creditor, because China could just as well flood the market with billions of USD in retaliation, letting the US economy crash and burn.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666650)

They'll wait another 20 years to do that. They haven't finished ripping off everything we have. The US didn't honor international copyrights and patents for years, when they were growing fast in the industrial revolution. Then, they became a powerhouse, and started protecting such things more tightly that most others. China is doing the same, and is about 100 years behind the US in that part of history. But when they catch up (shouldn't be more than 20 years from now) they can shift from the dollar to the euro, and dump the US T-bills, leapfrogging over the US. But they need to get the infrastructure and such ready before they do, because it will probably have a bit of a backlash ans need to be in a much stronger position to do that and not crash their own economy. Right now, if they flooded them, causing massive problems, we could cancel them and "fix" the problem (though unless we actually increased taxes and cut spending to remove the deficit and shrink the debt at the rate bonds were being called due, we'd explode the US economy worse than China could). But canceling the China debt would go a long way to balancing the budget with the necessary surplus to make a small dent in the debt.

And they could flood the market with trillions, not just billions. We owe something like 6 trillion dollars to China now. They flood, we cancel, and they lose trillions, we lose the ability to issue bonds anyone wants to buy because we'll cancel them if we feel like it. I think we win that one. 20 years from now, we wouldn't be able to pay off everyone else's bonds, and China will have more resources (the trillions we owe and would cancel will not hurt as much when their economy is many times the size of the US economy).

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665478)

This is a good point. I feel most people don't seem to realize that "allowed" comes with a sticker attached that says "with appropriate power." Countries only have power because populations give them power. Step outside the box for a second and there really aren't any rules.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665188)

"In the United States, the federal government has sovereign immunity and may not be sued unless it has waived its immunity or consented to suit." [wikipedia.org]

As far as I understand it, Microsoft could not sue the US Government if they used Office without license. But they could sue anyone who installed it on the computers, the guy who ordered them to install it, etc. Generally, if this guy is following orders, he'd be compensated by the Government for any losses.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665468)

Good luck with that idea. An action taken, or a decision made, as part of your official duties is pretty much immune from civil action. IANAL, but I know that the politicians have their asses covered every which way. To get past the legal hoop-la, you would have to first credibly propose that there were some kind of a conspiracy to subvert the law. Once you work around to charges of conspiracy, it's a whole 'nother ball game. Then, you can begin to work in a civil rights angle, for which there are few defenses.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665294)

Sovereign immunity really does mean that you cannot sue the government for monetary damages for any reason, unless they explicitly consent to it. The reason Microsoft could sue the U.S. government for copyright violation is that the U.S. federal government has waived its immunity in advance, for wide classes of torts, via the Tucker Act [wikipedia.org] and Federal Tort Claims Act [wikipedia.org] .

In a much earlier era, the standard way for someone with a grievance against the U.S. government to collect on it was to file a petition with Congress, which would pass special-case legislation agreeing to pay them, if Congress felt that the person in question was indeed owed redress. The fundamental separation-of-powers justification is that an individual claiming that they're owed money is a request for money from the U.S. Treasury, and only Congress may appropriate such money.

This obviously became rather tedious as the volume of claims increased, and didn't give a great perception of fairness, so in 1855 Congress delegated the hearing of most such claims to a newly created Court of Claims [wikipedia.org] , a special court that served as essentially a claims-hearing arm of Congress (a "legislative" or "Article I" court, not a part of the judicial branch), which would report a recommendation back to Congress; Congress typically then appropriated the money as a sort of rubber-stamp, but was still technically in charge. The system gradually shifted to a more and more judicial one, first by having the U.S. Treasurer automatically dispense judgments from pre-appropriated money, and later increasingly by consenting to have claims heard in regular courts.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665330)

"Actually, sovereign immunity means you can't sue the government if they pass a law that affects you in a negative way. It doesn't give the government free reign to ignore existing laws."

Maybe the OP was confusing Sovereign Immunity with The Supreme Court ;-)

Really? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665540)

Do you have proof that USA can do that? I mean they can in NATIONAL SECURITY issues, but they still pay "fair market value". At any other time, they pay what the market for a large company pays. So, where is your proof about America?

Re:Really? (0, Redundant)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665744)

Let me Wikipedia that for you... [wikipedia.org]

It's not a perfect defense, but it is in many cases a excuse to end a case that the Feds or 50 States don't want to argue out.

Re:I'll take Sovereign Immunity for the block (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666098)

Are you telling us that China doesn't have this out clause?

They don't need a "clause". China is an aggressive authoritarian communist government; they do whatever they want until someone threatens to start shooting if they don't stop. I predict that the response will basically be "piss off" (albeit a bit more politely worded). If they are trying to embarrass the Chinese government then they will also achieve nothing. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the US government called CyberSitter and asked them to quietly drop it in the interest of not harming US-Chinese relations (the Chinese take a very dim view of foreigners making negative comments about the "Chinese way" of doing things).

Hahahahah! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30664632)

They expect the Chinese government to respect software piracy laws! Hahahahahah! That's rich! Hahahahahah! :-D

Re:Hahahahah! (1)

onionman (975962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664806)

Agreed. I don't think that CyberSquatter is going to have much luck, even in U.S. courts, on collecting from the Chinese government.

IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664638)

It seems odd that a Chinese government-run effort would have to respect the American copyright laws... couldn't China just declare the work to be in the public domain as far as they're concerned?

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664746)

couldn't China just declare the work to be in the public domain as far as they're concerned?

It could — in China. But the claimant can still go after whatever interests and assets the targets of the lawsuit have in the USA... And that is, what the claimant is doing — by filing the suit in the Los Angeles federal court.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (5, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664762)

A lot of copyright laws are international, and China is a signatory. There are good business reasons to do this, even though such laws are frequently and casually violated in China, even moreso than in the USA.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (0)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664944)

A lot of copyright laws are international, and China is a signatory.

They could, however, say "We're the fifth of the Earth's population, fucker", and make their own rules. A country of a billion does not automatically have to accept the rules of 300 million.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665086)

A lot of copyright laws are international, and China is a signatory.

They could, however, say "We're the fifth of the Earth's population, fucker", and make their own rules. A country of a billion does not automatically have to accept the rules of 300 million.

Nor do we have to accept any rules they make, unless they want to send some of that billion over here to occupy us. Not saying that couldn't happen, but it's not going to happen over a copyright case.

Besides, nobody is trying to say that U.S. law should apply anywhere but in the United States. But China has made a number of trade agreements, signed some treaties, and it's going to be interesting to see if they're willing to live up to those obligations. My guess is they won't.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665350)

Besides, nobody is trying to say that U.S. law should apply anywhere but in the United States.

Nobody but the US government, that is. There've been several incidents of countries extraditing their citizens to here to face trial, for violating American law while on foreign soil.

Do try to keep up.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665528)

Do try to keep up.

I don't quite see the relevance in your comment. Oh, sure, I grok that you are saying that the U.S. strongarms other nations into compliance with our laws ... but, you know, your comment doesn't apply just to the U.S. I mean, that's what the big boys do. It's what China does, it's what Russia does, it's what all the major powers do if they can get away with it, so I see no reason to bother bringing that up. It's especially irrelevant given that we're talking about China, which has never made a habit of kow-towing to any other country's laws. Cripes. If you want to America-bash find something more interesting to talk about. I'm an American and I could offer you a few pointers in that regard, there's plenty to go around.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667786)

Don’t worry. There’s no point in occupying you. We already own you. And you already work for us. Just unlike keeping you as slaves, we don’t have to feed you or give you a place to sleep.

Same thing you did and still do with what you call the 3rd world.

Regards,

The Chinese government. ;)

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665210)

Actually the way copyright treaties work is that Americans are protected by Chinese copyright laws if their copyright is infringed in China.

It does not mean the American copyright applies in China.

Unfortunately it is worded such that they would get the same copyright protection as a Chinese citizen, so they may be SOL on this one anyway, given the way they treat their citizens.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (2, Informative)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664962)

They are a WIPO member, I think they've signed a couple copyright treaties

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665316)

There's literally trillions of dollars of Chinese government money in the US, it wouldn't be too tough to get whatever amount was won out of one of those sources. Or just seize it at the border as somebody's trying to take it back to China.

They could try that, however, the Chinese need us a lot more than what you're suggesting. We're currently in a situation where we really can't afford to piss each other off too much. Evaporating those dollars would be devastating to the US, and calling the debt would cause most of the economic progress that China's made to evaporate as well.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665928)

Calling on the debt, considering that the US does not have a chance to repay it, would have a negative effect on the economy, but only so much that the nation's credit rating would definitely fall.

Realistically, we would have to cut off ties with China, which means likely seizing, and otherwise halting their imports. Without us buying them, they are absolutely screwed. While the US economy would be in the tank for a long time, the US would come out of it, and probably by seeing China relax their debt calls, or forgiving it altogether (based on some negotiation to uncripple their economy by restarting exports to the US)--depending on the President at the time. We would probably come out stronger for it as we make our own jobs again, support our own economy, and stop having generally subpar goods at the root of all things (minus cars..., but China does not make those for us yet, as we at least hold to standards there still?). Our defense industry would certainly be booming even in the dark times as we prepared for any conflict China as we did with the USSR.

Re:IN SOVIET CHINA... wait, they still are! (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666458)

China is signatory to the TRIPS [1] agreement, which is an international treaty on Intellectual Property rights. TRIPS is in turn a prerequisite requirement for WTO membership. In this case China really can't ignore copyright unless it's prepared to say good bye to the WTO -- which considering the amount of vested interests there, is close to impossible.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreement_on_Trade-Related_Aspects_of_Intellectual_Property_Rights [wikipedia.org]

Tag this with goodluckwiththat (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664670)

The title says it all. So how would something like this be enforced to the losing party? Yeah I thought so.

Re:Tag this with goodluckwiththat (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664768)

Well, the USA could take that to the WTO... wait, we don't even respect the WTO anymore.

Re:Tag this with goodluckwiththat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666106)

Thank goodness.

Re:Tag this with goodluckwiththat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666148)

Well, the USA could take that to the WTO... wait, we don't even respect the WTO anymore.

Must have somthing to do about the loss of a few towers

Re:Tag this with goodluckwiththat (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665332)

You do realize that the Chinese state owns most of our debt, right? All the court would have to do is order the institutions holding the cash to release the appropriate sum to the winning party.

Re:Tag this with goodluckwiththat (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666682)

The actual amount is around $800 billion [wikipedia.org] , or 23%. The rest of your point is right on, although getting into some kind of retaliation fight with China over this is probably not a great idea.

Re:Tag this with goodluckwiththat (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667216)

Go recheck that link. China's government holds about 23% of the US debt that is held by foreign governments, which is only about 25 percent of the total. At least how I'm reading that wikipedia article. The paragraph in question is a bit dense and not the clearest, mixing various standards and groups and percentages. But I am pretty sure that only a fraction of 25% is held by the Chinese.

IOW, piss on 'em now rather than later.

Good luck with that (1)

nodoubts2k (1227920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664674)

Do you really think that they will pay this? They copy everything with total disregard for IP rights. Even if they succeed with this suit, how would they enforce it?

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30664800)

They copy everything with total disregard for IP rights

Why should China recognize IP rights in the US? Intellectual property in the United States is built into the Constitution, as far as I know, China isn't obligated to follow what the US Constitution says. The US doesn't have much leverage against China these days either as long as the government makes US workers expensive with entitlement programs and run record high deficits that they need China and other foreign governments to fund. I suppose the US is trying to make the US worker cheaper though by debasing the currency as fast as possible.

On the other hand, why should the US recognize IP from China either?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665028)

On the other hand, why should the US recognize IP from China either?

China has next to nothing in terms of IP -- because the Chinese don't respect IP.

And that's why movies made in Hong Kong are for Western audiences instead of Chinese audiences. Most Chinese will pirate instead of pay.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668108)

And that's why movies made in Hong Kong are for Western audiences instead of Chinese audiences. Most Chinese will pirate instead of pay.

I wonder if retards like you have ever been to a movie theater in Asia, for example?

Re:Good luck with that (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665142)

as far as I know, China isn't obligated to follow what the US Constitution says.

And you'd be wrong, so far as China doing business in the United States is concerned. Any interests they have over here are very much subject to U.S. law, as ours are subject to Chinese law when we do business in China (remember the whole debacle over Google and Yahoo caving into the Chinese government over search requests.) And even though this case is being filed in the U.S., should the Chinese government lose the case (and there's a damn good chance they will) there are probably substantial Chinese assets in the U.S. that could be seized to provide redress. Time will tell. Of course, whether our Federal Government will even allow the case to proceed and risk pissing off our economic "partner" is another story entirely.

They may have solved the puzzle... (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664684)

1. Get the government to require your product be shipped with all computers, and used by all households with children.
2. Make your product by stealing code to save on development costs.
3. Bill the computer makers for license rights to the program you stole and the government requires, they can't turn you down or they're out of the PC business.
4. PROFIT!!!

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (4, Funny)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664796)

Do you post multiple top-level comments per story in order to advertise your terrible website?

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (0, Redundant)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664888)

Sure seems like there is a fair chance of it.

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (0, Offtopic)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665016)

Sure seems like there is a fair chance of it being grabbed by some of the "millions of automated Web 2.0 content analysis bots".

T, FTFY.

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665066)

I think you may have solved the puzzle.

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (-1, Offtopic)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665280)

How is that possible that I get not only first post, but first four posts when I have to play by the same rate limiting rules as everybody else? Did all of you let your slashdot subscriptions lapse?

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666370)

How is that possible that I get not only first post, but first four posts when I have to play by the same rate limiting rules as everybody else? Did all of you let your slashdot subscriptions lapse?

The rate limits generally only apply to Anonymous Coward posts, you jackass. You can make a non-AC post and immediately make a couple more. There may be a limit to this but I've never encountered it. By contrast, I could not make one more AC post after this one without waiting at least a few minutes (sometimes a lot more than that).

Like I said, you're a jackass.

Re:They may have solved the puzzle... (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666482)

From what I've heard this is a fairly common business model in China.

Also, I'm pretty sure at some point #1 s/Get/Bribe/

Serious Challenges Remain (1)

RobGTX (935665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664774)

Going all the way back to 2005, China stated that it would take steps to comply with, and enforce copyright laws. See #1 under "Serious Challenges Remain" in this article. http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat052505.html [copyright.gov]

Re:Serious Challenges Remain (2, Interesting)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664844)

Because the Chinese government knows they will be committing economic suicide if they do this.

"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (2, Interesting)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30664784)

That is why China continues to have growth in GNP year after year.

Time to reform the U.S. patent system, or even the entire legal system in general. Patents have done nothing except preventing truly creative inventions, especially when you have too many lawyers on the streets right now.

For those who try to start a business, think twice. A single tiny wrong move means you will go to bankruptcy, lose your house, and end up bring your family into suicide.

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665038)

OK, fine - but what does the patent system have to do with a copyright case? oh, right - nothing at all.

Seriously? This is your example? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665278)

Ah yes, if only we abandoned the terror of "Intellectual Property", we too could have oppressive censorship software forced upon us. Why must we languish in such outdated technology as an uncensored Internet?

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (2, Funny)

cpghost (719344) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665282)

Patents have done nothing except preventing truly creative inventions.

Some inventions deserve to be prevented by patents. This case being an excellent illustration.

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (2, Insightful)

matzahboy (1656011) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665432)

This has nothing to do with patents... Also, how can anything in the digital world survive without intellectual property laws? They are what makes pirating illegal. One company thinks of a brilliant idea, and suddenly all their competitors have copied it identically. There would be 0 reason to put any money into R&D. I agree with you that patent law needs help. But you can't completely get rid of all intellectual property rights. Most companies innovate to make money. There is no economic reason to innovate if your competitors will get the same benefits and not have to spend any R&D money/time.

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (0, Offtopic)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665556)

Spoken as someone who has never had a patentable or patented idea, I'll wager...and doubtless as someone who has never made money on his own IP. Bet your tune will change the moment you actually get a patent for something you invented.

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (1)

Zenzilla (793153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665670)

That's why you start a business behind a LLC.

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665760)

For those who try to start a business, think twice. A single tiny wrong move means you will go to bankruptcy, lose your house, and end up bring your family into suicide.

Hyperbole much? Sure, things can go wrong, but it's quite rare that it ends in suicide.

And yes, it's best to not bet the house on it.

Also, China has a bit of a Machiavellian attitude about things, more so than any major power, even the US, IMO. Economic freedom is largely the main freedom there is in China.

Re:"Intellectual Property" hampers economic growth (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666298)

For those who try to start a business, think twice. A single tiny wrong move means you will go to bankruptcy, lose your house, and end up bring your family into suicide.

That's a load of bollocks. If you have assets to begin with, there are many ways to protect them from bankruptcy. Just ask Maddoff or O.J. Simpson. Create an LLC, create a Trust, start a Foundation, buy property in Florida (and stop making payments on your current house), take insurance, max out your pension/401K plan, put your assets under the name of your hooker/mom/girlfriend/children's name, mail your relatives all your jewelry, gamble online, keep a car that's below a certain value, etc.

You just have to do your homework, that's all (the earlier, the better obviously).And no, I don't know which parts are really feasible, or even legal, in the United States or even anywhere for that matter. I'm not a lawyer, nor a financial adviser. I just repeat what I've seen on the news, that's all.

That's why you always put (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30664840)

...a backdoor in your proprietary software. They could sell unblocking software that way.

FUCK YOU CAMPBELL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30664956)

That's right bitches, now we're tied. CA-NA-DA! CA-NA-DA!

court gives paper tiger judgement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30664988)

plaintiff gets paid in paper tiger bond redeemable in 2019, missing the coupons ;p

What's the future for "Intellectual Property"? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665318)

Business in North America has realized that they can no longer compete with the developing world in resources, manufacturing or services, and the only way they can make money is by selling access to the intellectual and cultural property they have acquired rights to. So the movies, music, code, patents and any idea that business can get their hands on is something to be exploited for money. This is the reason for the ACTA negotiations: To create a world where such "intellectual property" created in North America can be peddled to the developing world to get the money back that we have been sending them for their cheap goods and cheap services.

The problem is that average people in both the developing world and the developed world simply don't believe that draconian rules about so-called "intellectual property" are justified. Why do "artists" get to perform once and get paid over and over when regular people need to go to work every day to make a living? Is it not absurd to fine some 14-year old hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few songs on Kazaa? Why is it OK that copyright duration keeps getting extended over and over just so W*lt D*sney can keep making money recycling the same old tired stuff? It also seems that young people see no problem with sharing music with their friends, or making mix CDs or other reasonable use of music, since that music is broadcast free over the radio anyway. This is not to advocate piracy or law-breaking, but if people think that laws are too restrictive and unjust on what people can do with their copies of software, music and video and what they can do with new ideas they hear about then they will ignore those laws and do what's best for themselves.

I understand the reason for this lawsuit and I wish the plaintiff well, but I suspect that in the long run there will be much more of this "intellectual property theft" and people will eventually realize that most people don't agree that it is a terrible crime to steal ideas or music or videos that can be easily shared or freely copied. Eventually the laws that try to enforce huge penalties for such "theft" will make about as much sense to the public as the old "Red Flag" laws that tried to nobble the automobile in a desperate attempt to protect the vested horse, stagecoach and railroad industries.

the USA has a lot of debt in the hands of China. The only way to get out from under that debt in the USA is to figure out what they can sell to the Chinese to bring back all the $$$ that USA has paid for goods and services. I don't see how "intellectual property" can be the product that the Chinese want to pay for as it's easy to copy and share and historically that's what citizens and business are used to doing, both in the USA and in China.

There ain't no easy answers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_flag_laws [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt [wikipedia.org]

(Yeah, I know it's only Wikipedia but I am AC after all)

Re:What's the future for "Intellectual Property"? (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30668536)

AC, but the damned best post on slashdot since long. Chapeau!

The other 9 defendants (2, Interesting)

Jenming (37265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665328)

It seems like the other defendants (at least the US ones) could be much easier targets than the Chinese government. Possibly the supply chain could be stopped at that level if China is unwilling to settle.

It's just like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30665424)

...pissing in a sea of piss...

uhhh (1)

Pix Pocketts (757032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665580)

What's to stop someone from just reinstalling Windows when they get their new pc home anyways? How retarded. I bet every Chinese kid from age 5 up can do that. lol

The irony is killing me (4, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30665678)

So the short version is that an American company is suing the Chinese government because China is violating the basic human rights of its citizens without having a proper software license?

I'm not sure which circle of Hell is reserved for a complete and total inversion of priorities, but I'm sure CyberSitter will find out.

Silly silly CyberSitter (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666406)

Don't they understand that in China, the Chinese are virtually never guilty of copyright violations and foreign entities are almost automatically guilty upon accusation?

Quote Cory Doctorow: (2, Informative)

cheros (223479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30666702)

The USA was a pirate nation for the first 100 years of its existence, ripping off the patents and trademarks of the imperial European powers it had liberated itself from with blood. By keeping their GDP at home, the US revolutionaries were able to bootstrap their nation into an industrial powerhouse. Now, it seems, their descendants are bent on ensuring that no other country can pull the same trick off.

I could not have said it better, other than summarising it: hypocrites..

Re:Quote Cory Doctorow: (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30667020)

...In the forefront of which is Hollywood ... built on a obscure peninsular as far away from the Movie industry patent holders as possible so they could make movies without paying them ....

Classic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30666864)

either cybersitter is really brave or foolish, the human rights violation aspect in this case is purely coincidental, the fact is that their code was ripped and they want a the chinese gov to pay...If an investigation was done into all the copyright violations, idea theft etc that goes on in china the world would have to sue china for like a gazillion bucks

I'm suddenly in favor of IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30667138)

And was THAT ever a sentence I didn't expect to be uttering.

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