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China Secretly Clones Austrian Village

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-try-it-with-the-swiss dept.

China 329

Hugh Pickens writes "A scenic mountain village in Austria called Hallstatt has been copied, down to the statues, by a Chinese developer. Residents of the original Hallstatt attended Saturday's opening in China for the high-end residential project, but were still miffed about how the company did it. 'They should have asked the owners of the hotel and the other buildings if we agree with the idea to rebuild Hallstatt in China, and they did not,' says hotel owner Monika Wenger. People in Hallstatt first learned a year ago of the plan when a Chinese guest at Wenger's hotel who was involved with the project inadvertently spilled the beans. Minmetals staff had been taking photos and gathering data while mingling with tourists, raising suspicions among villagers. The original village is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a $940 million housing estate that thrives on China's new rich. In a country famous for pirated products, the replica Hallstatt sets a new standard. 'The moment I stepped into here, I felt I was in Europe,' says 22-year-old Zhu Bin, a Huizhou resident. 'The security guards wear nice costumes. All the houses are built in European style.' This isn't the first time a Chinese firm has used a European place as inspiration. The Chinese city of Anting, some 30 kilometers from Shanghai, created a district designed to accommodate 20,000 residents called 'German Town Anting' and in 2005 Chengdu British Town was modeled on the English town of Dorchester."

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priacy 2.0 (5, Funny)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227219)

the chinese will pirate anything.

Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (-1, Flamebait)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227325)

Why am I not surprised at this type of racist ranting on slashdot anymore?

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227407)

Briefest rant ever.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227411)

Er... I think this article proves he is correct. I'm Chinese and proud, but the morals we have when it comes to counterfeiting and intellectual property are just shameful. (Well that and environmental / animal cruelty, utterly shameful.) Nothing racist about it.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227561)

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I'm Chinese too and I don't find it shameful. Certainly not racist.

Environmental? Go do some research on history of industrialization in all the now "developed" nations, e.g., the Great Smog of 1952. Animal cruelty? You've obviously never watched some of the PETA videos showcasing the meat industry in America.

China is going through a phase like every other nation once did. Things WILL get better.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227787)

you are correct, But a simply heads up like "hey, we really like your town, we like it so much in fact we are going to replicate it in our country" would have been good enough. I personally dont care or have any issue with it, a builder can build what it wants, where it wants, but a heads up would be nice is all im saying

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227579)

Eating dog is not worst then eating pig. What is a pet to one is food to someone else. Get off your high horse with that stupid animal cruelty rant.

inb4 any argument response; The same thing, or worst, is also done else where.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228191)

I kind of think that the copyright on this centuries-old village has probably expired.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227441)

Hey Genius. Chinese is a nationality, not an ethnicity, culture, or religion. China has about 20 ethnic groups with populations over 1 million in China.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227497)

Yeah, that's true. And they're all equally worthless.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (2)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227501)

shhhh. you're not supposed to notice that.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227627)

no, "Chinese" is more like a civilization and an ethnicity, as the people describe themselves. it goes beyond china, and plenty of groups in china do not consider themselves "chinese" in that sense

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227803)

Kind of like jewish, Its both a ethnicity and a religion (or so my jewish friends tell me when we debate the subject)

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227641)

Somehow I doubt you would make this kind of comment if someone had used the word "Nigger" and had been called racist.

Re:Yeah, yeah, racist rants, again ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227611)

Only making fun of Blacks and J*ws is racist. Clearly you are in need of more tolerance education.

Calm down! Your going to crash! Speed up!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227701)

Home many lanes do you fucking slopes need to move your broken down rustbucket down the road?!

Just pick a lane and crash into a parked car so the rest of us can get to work!

Re:priacy 2.0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227361)

It's not piracy. Google just proved in court that you don't need permission to copy.

Re:priacy 2.0 (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227389)

the chinese will pirate anything.

They've been cloning electronics, toys, and even whole vehicles [worldcarfans.com] for years now. So why not clone whole cities and towns?

Better hope not... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227395)

Hitler 2.0

Re:priacy 2.0 (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227417)

The real problem IMHO is that they're not making duplicates of the buildings Hundertwasser created :)

Re:priacy 2.0 (2, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227477)

They're hardly the first to try to reproduce tourist destinations and landmarks. Tokyo has an Eiffel tower [wikipedia.org] and a Statue of Liberty [dumell.net] .

There's also name stealing. Missouri has a town called "Versailles." I hear the way it's pronounced in Missouri is "Ver-sales" rather than "Ver-sai." Probably to cut down on confusion. "Damnit! I meant to go to France! Ah well, guess I'll see the birthplace of Bud Walton, co-founder of Walmart."

Re:priacy 2.0 (5, Insightful)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227895)

They're hardly the first to try to reproduce tourist destinations and landmarks. Tokyo has an Eiffel tower [wikipedia.org] and a Statue of Liberty [dumell.net] .

Isn't there a lot of stuff in Las Vegas as well? (They're not the original Pyramids, I suspect...)

Re:priacy 2.0 (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227945)

Isn't there a lot of stuff in Las Vegas as well?

If by "stuff" you mean hookers and booze, then officially: no. Because Las Vegas is a family destination.

(this post is a blatant rip-off of another /. post: standing on the shoulders of midgets)

Re:priacy 2.0 (1)

splict (1024037) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227965)

"Did, umm... did Caesar live here?"

Re:priacy 2.0 (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228129)

They're hardly the first to try to reproduce tourist destinations and landmarks. Tokyo has an Eiffel tower [wikipedia.org] and a Statue of Liberty [dumell.net] .

  Isn't there a lot of stuff in Las Vegas as well? (They're not the original Pyramids, I suspect...)

Not to mention Disney's EPCOT where they have an Eiffel Tower [go.com] , a Chinese Temple [go.com] , a geodesic representation of the entire Earth [wikipedia.org] , etc.

Re:priacy 2.0 (1)

smashin234 (555465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228189)

There are a lot more Missouri towns then that which are pronounced differently. New Madrid is pronounced Mad rid and portageville, I won't even pronounce that here for ya, but there is hayti (hay TIE) but there is also blytheville (Arkansas) which is pronounced Blahville.

Heck, Rolla Missouri is pronounced like it sounds, but the town originally was supposed to be a copy of Raleigh, and see how they butchered both the spelling and how its pronounced....

But that is neither here nor there. The town of Peculiar for instance had its first two choices rejected because they already existed and if I remember correctly the postmaster told them they needed a more "Peculiar" name...and they took that.

The history of any state for that matter though is more about how people were just trying to figure out names for their towns and most of the time like the above people pronounced them differently due to cultural differences. (different accents) I mean think of it, who would name their town "Blytheville" in the first place? Every state has examples of that, and yes its stealing I guess, but isn't it said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Re:priacy 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227569)

Yeah, and New York wasn't intended to be a copy of York. The Chinese just do it better.

Re:priacy 2.0 (5, Funny)

MasseKid (1294554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227589)

At 1100 years old, I would surely hope this had fallen into public domain.

Re:priacy 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227739)

They aren't pirating it, they're preserving it, in case it isn't standing at the end of the Sino-American econo-campaign. Right at the last second, all the villagers of Hallstatt will be drugged and flown to the new village, where they will live a Trumanesque existence, and we will all pay to see "...what Europe used to be like..."

Re:priacy 2.0 (3, Insightful)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228117)

the chinese will pirate anything.

The original village is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. ... In a country famous for pirated products....

This copyright protection is going too far... its absurd.... centruries-old... when does original architect's copyright run out, exactly!?

inadvertently spilled the beans. Minmetals staff had been taking photos and gathering data while mingling with tourists, raising suspicions among villagers.

Bullshit. Why would someone taking pictures or doing any kind of observations whatsoever raise suspicion in a heritage site that survives on tourism? I think letting the town know wasn't exactly "inadvertant," but likely overt.

Been to the (real) one (5, Interesting)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227243)

Hallstatt (which loosely translates to "Salt City") is in the Austrian Alps near some (you guessed it) ancient salt mines. Very beautiful country with lots of lakes. Completely random facts: 1. The Celts lived there 4,000 years ago before they migrated to Ireland & Scotland; 2. One of the last US planes that was ever shot down in the European theater in WWII ended up almost perfectly preserved in a lake not too far from Hallstatt and was salvaged by divers a few years ago.

Re:Been to the (real) one (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227335)

P.S. --> The larger city of "Salzburg" also loosely translates to Salt City... but from German rather than the ancient Celtic.

Soulskill, please re-read the title of TFA ! (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227355)

Soulskill, why do you have to put the word "secret" in the title of TFA?

As if the project was done by some secret agency of the Chinese Communist Party, or something like that

It's a real estate development project, for crying out loud

And it's not only China that they are doing that

You go to India, and you will find towns that looks so much like what you get in England, with English bangalows and everything

Re:Soulskill, please re-read the title of TFA ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227449)

Have you got some strange insecurity about anything written about China? Insecure with your own cultural identity? How unfortunate.

Re:Soulskill, please re-read the title of TFA ! (4, Insightful)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227509)

Yes, except the English had a "presence" in India (not discussing the specifics of Colonialism, just as a reference to their presence there.) There was never any Austrian presence in China. Setting aside the fact the TFA headline is actually (IMO) more inflammatory than Soulskill's, the citizens of the town weren't aware of the activity, meaning it was apparently done without the knowledge of the citizens. In other words, secretly.

Re:Soulskill, please re-read the title of TFA ! (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227815)

I don't really see why any of them should give a shit. I'm pretty sure their own town was copied from some other town, which was copied from some other town, etc, etc... all the way back to Babylon or Mesopotamia.... It's not like the people who live in that town architected it and built it and oversaw and orchestrated the centuries of history that have occurred there -- they just happen to live there because they moved there or because some ancient relative helped build a house or a church there. Seriously, people will get their possessive little panties in a bunch over just about anything nowadays... When will humans let go of this inane desire to "own" everything..? They're not going to lose any tourist money over it. It's not like some tourist is going to say, "Hmm, I really want to see Hallstatt but it's just too touristy. I think I'll go see the Chinese version instead!" If they had any brains amongst them they would see this is a good thing and spin it to actually INCREASE their tourism. "Come see the town that is so great that China copied it!"... No, they'll just have their little hissy bitch fit and fill the world with even more negative energy...

Re:Soulskill, please re-read the title of TFA ! (3, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227617)

They did not use a 'car' down a street with a developer logo on the side - in the open, talking to the community.
Secret fits what was done. As for India, England did build in its own image in many areas...

Re:Soulskill, please re-read the title of TFA ! (3, Funny)

kanto (1851816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227651)

Soulskill, why do you have to put the word "secret" in the title of TFA?

As if the project was done by some secret agency of the Chinese Communist Party, or something like that

It's a real estate development project, for crying out loud

And it's not only China that they are doing that

You go to India, and you will find towns that looks so much like what you get in England, with English bangalows and everything

Well, it's still a mystery why the Chinese want to bomb this Austrian village so bad they need a replica for target practice.

Re:Been to the (real) one (1)

davegaramond (632107) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227689)

BTW, are the dishes especially salty there? Or, whether the residents have a higher rate of HBP and stroke?

Re:Been to the (real) one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227983)

1. The Celts lived there 4,000 years ago before they migrated to Ireland & Scotland;

I wouldn't says migrated, more expanded.

No problem... (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227255)

They're just getting ready the European versions of our China Town for when they inevitably dominate the world. We'll find settling into America Town and Europe Town very comfortable.

VillagePorn (4, Funny)

Lust (14189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227299)

Possibly the most-submitted vista to /r/VillagePorn - at least now we can diversify the subreddit to include this pirated version.

Not secret. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227305)

That isn't what secret means.

If you read the fine print (1)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227317)

You'll begin to see what China, Russia, and the good ole USA have really been doing to topple one another. However. It would seem in the end, the rich and greed truly are the greatest wielded weapons.

Detriot (5, Funny)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227327)

Do it with Detroit.

Re:Detriot (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227883)

They already copied New Jersey [flickr.com] , I wouldn't be surprised if they also copied Detroit.

Disney cloned Neuschwanstein (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227337)

Yeh and Disney made the magic castle from Neuschwanstein castle in Germany without asking Neuschwanstein.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle

It's an homage to Austria and they should be happy and market it as "come see the REAL Austrian village" and get rich Chinese to go visit.

Re:Disney cloned Neuschwanstein (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227837)

Ive been to both, and you could say it was based on it, a duplicate it is not

OMG (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227341)

Since when did China start coping stuff !?! Tell the world this amazing news!

Asian tourists (5, Funny)

DOXEBf (2651219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227349)

Ah, so that's why Asian tourists take so many photos.

Nice place, except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227371)

for all the foreigners.

"They should have asked the owners of the hotel.." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227383)

Why?

Re:"They should have asked the owners of the hotel (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228045)

Because they wanted to be paid of course.

chinese motto seems to be: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227401)

If you can't beat them, clone them

Re:chinese motto seems to be: (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227657)

oh yeah, we never copied any chinese buildings over here. nor use any chinese inventions, ever. and certainly never copied the foods or cooking styles of the various regions. now excuse me while I go eat my schezuan hot pot.

Not piracy at all (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227435)

This is a pretty cool idea, and I'd love to see themed housing developments in other places. It has nothing to do with piracy though -- it's not as though anyone is going to consider living in Austria, but then decide to live in some Chinese town instead because it's cheaper. The author probably just threw that in as a bit of flamebait to get more comments.

Cultural cross polination (3)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227445)

This is the poetry of history. During the Enlightenment, Europeans were trying to emulate Chinese architecture and city planning principles, as well as everything Chinese.

Have you ever been to the Venetian? Tragedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227455)

If you've ever seen the Venetian , now that is a tragedy.

Er.. not quite (2)

crt (44106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227457)

Looking at the first picture in the article, I thought they did an amazing job - even the geography was a match to what I remembered. Then I realized that was just a stock photo of the real Hallstatt.

The other pictures tell the real story. It's about as authentic as their Loius Wuitton purses or iFone knockoffs. The scenery around the location is also a poor imitation of the original.

Re:Er.. not quite (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227619)

It doesn't look right to me either. The differences were actually pretty glaring. Of course, even the picture of the actual town looked off to me. When I went it was late December, so everything was covered in snow.

Imitation is the finest form of flattery! (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227459)

They could do worse than copying bits of European culture which are beautiful.

After being inspired by Marx and Engels, this is Much Better.

NOT secret (5, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227483)

While I'm sure saying it was secret makes the story more exciting.. let's try to stick with things that are true. Here's an article from a year ago [spiegel.de] . The Chinese real-estate developer arranged a partnership between the two cities. Halstatt's Mayor knew of the development. That's the opposite of a secret.

And if you think this is for some sinister purpose:

This isn't the first time a Chinese firm has used a European place as inspiration. The Chinese city of Anting, some 30 kilometers from Shanghai, created a district designed to accommodate 20,000 residents called "German Town Anting." Modelled after a typical mid-size German city by architecture firm Albert Speer & Partner, it includes Bauhaus style architecture and a fountain with statues of Goethe and Schiller.

In 2005 Chengdu British Town was modelled on the English town of Dorchester. One year later Thames Town was finished near Shanghai, complete with a 66-meter tall church that bears a striking resemblance to a cathedral in Bristol. Also near Shanghai are mini versions of Barcelona, Venice and the Scandinavian-inspired Nordic Town. The architectural plagiarisms are popular destinations among middle-class Chinese, even serving as backdrops for wedding photos.

That's right: it's for tourism.

Re:NOT secret (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227807)

Other cities, regions have been doing deals.
The fact that the Mayor "knew" of the development as a "project" at some point does not take away from the secret spy and build facts.

Re:NOT secret (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227845)

Calling this piracy is just as dumb as calling the New York New York casino in Las Vegas piracy. And here [about.com] is the home the White House is styled after.

Re:NOT secret (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227899)

Sure you can open a casino in New York, but you can't open a Luxor in New York.

Re:NOT secret (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228193)

Honestly, they aren't popular at all. They're huge financial failures [spiegel.de] . They do get wedding photographers, but that's it, and certainly not what they were designed for. And everywhere gets wedding photographers, wedding photographs are one of the most important parts of Chinese weddings.

One of the things that gets lost in talk of the Chinese boom is that the whole thing is a bubble market, where development is controlled by fucking Commies and people who happen to have good family connections, but can't even hope to compete with the invisible hand of an efficient marketplace. A whole lot of stupid shit gets built, two lane freeways that can't be expanded cross over Shanghai, the whole infrastructure is just idiotic.

How could they miss this one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227493)

What about Fucking, Austria?

Not up to the real thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227505)

It looks like a crappy copy as usual.

The Venitian? (5, Insightful)

Tester (591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227521)

Well, how is that different from half the hotel/casinos on the strip in Las Vegas ? Appart from the fact that's it's more realistic.

Re:The Venitian? (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227691)

Yeah, and likewise, how is it different from putting up a sign that says "Fucking", which is imitating another Austrian villiage [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:The Venitian? (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228041)

Because that sign would be stolen immediately.

Re:The Venitian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40228035)

Missing the sense of humor part of it?

Good practice (5, Funny)

waynemcdougall (631415) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227527)

Off-site backups are _always_ worth the hassle

Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227577)

Emulation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but this is just creepy.

And when the concrete starts to crack and fall apart in three years what will the Chinese be copying then?

Re:Creepy (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227615)

oh, like we asked permissoin to copy and emulate other building styles in the USA? we have swiss villages in wisconsin, greek temple styled libraries and post offices, chinese buildings and pagodas, etc.

Yuo 7ail 1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227597)

WTF, why should they have to ask? (5, Insightful)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227601)

I love how some people are 'miffed' that a Chinese company has copied their city down to the finest details "without asking". What if they said no? Would the Chinese company have just shut down their project? Maybe as a courtesy, but why risk a 'no', when you fully intend to ignore it anyway.

And 'piracy' (as posted above) is the wrong term. These buildings and the landscape are so old that even if they ever existed under some sort of copyright or patent protection, they would no longer be covered now.

It's not even like the Chinese company isn't saying that it's a direct copy, so the original is still being credited as being the 'original'.

What this does show is that there are a whole bunch of people around that think that 'copyright' or 'intellectual property' are some sort of super-rights that preclude anyone from doing anything that the creators don't expressly allow; whether or not any reasonable period of protection has elapsed. And sadly, many others think it's justified, while ignoring the consequences, where pretty much anything created would end up infringing on something somewhere at some time in the past.

Re:WTF, why should they have to ask? (2, Insightful)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227827)

These buildings and the landscape are so old that even if they ever existed under some sort of copyright or patent protection, they would no longer be covered now.

Like many people whose minds are stuck in the prior millenium, you're confusing "copies" with "access."

This isn't about copies, it's about access. Prior to this project, you had to go to Halstatt to see things and build memoires and take pictures to remind you of those memories of the time you had in Halstatt.

This is valuable, because access limitation is inherent. Moreso, if you're talking about access to a resource that is special because it's hundreds of years old, and it's not quite like any other resource.

It's not that China is encroaching on peoples "intellectual property" that's pissing people off, ultimately; it's that they're making an end-run around the access restriction that makes Halstatt valuable. It makes the original city less valuable just by existing.

If you were, say, a musical peformer, and China made a Tupac-style hologram of you, found someone to imitate your voice well enough to fool all but your most diehard fans, it likely wouldn't matter to you if they wrote all-original music for the hologram to perform; you'd be perfectly within your rights to be affronted, because they'd literally be diluting the value of your live performances. Would you still take it as flattery if some cost-cutting venue booked Chinese Holo-You instead of you?

A lot of people will be going to Fakehalstatt instead of going to Halstatt. Some portion of those will go there because they will never be able to afford to go to Actualhalstatt, to be fair.

Re:WTF, why should they have to ask? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227941)

This is valuable, because access limitation is inherent. Moreso, if you're talking about access to a resource that is special because it's hundreds of years old, and it's not quite like any other resource.

It's not that China is encroaching on peoples "intellectual property" that's pissing people off, ultimately; it's that they're making an end-run around the access restriction that makes Halstatt valuable. It makes the original city less valuable just by existing.

What is "access" but some form of intellectual property you've just invented? In any case, I'm not sure how you can distinguish it from copyright. If access to the resource is special because it's "hundreds of years old", the new copy is irrelevant; as a copy, it lacks the special quality which makes the original valuable. Just as a modern painter making a very good copy of an old master's painting does not reduce the value of the original or of access to it. If going to the copy is just the same as going to the original (and the actual age doesn't enter into it), then the issue isn't access, it's copying.

Re:WTF, why should they have to ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227985)

you'd be perfectly within your rights to be affronted, because they'd literally be diluting the value of your live performances.

In much the same way that a company with a competing service (building sites for high-end media companies) is diluting the value of my work, right?

No, this isn't 'different' - access limitation exists in the sense that my company can only handle so many contracts at once.

The end result is also the same: Only a fool could claim there is anything to be 'affronted' about here. Halstatt cannot provided the access to Halstatt that being Halstatt clearly requires; a competitor is stepping in to pick up the slack.

Why on earth (1)

Pirulo (621010) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227645)

Why on earth would the Chinesse need permission from the original?
Are the houses copyrighted?

Re:Why on earth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227719)

Why on earth are you talking in <pre>...

Re:Why on earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227911)

The problem is that Austria failed to DRM the city.

Never a perfect copy (1)

Guillaume le Btard (1773300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227751)

The Chinese like to 'copy' our western stuff but they are just too ignorant to understand what they copy which means that I, as a westerner in Shanghai, am laughing my ass off at their half-assed attempts because it is absolute garbage they churn out.

Re:Never a perfect copy (2)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228049)

Somewhere in Jiangsu Province here. Sadly my "western" house (it's duplex, really, but they call it a "villa" to make it sound nice) is still very much Chinese under the paint. Everything western is truly superficial in the case of Chinese construction.

I have to feel sorry for those poor suckers that live in Chinese apartment buildings (which is where the vast majority of Chinese live). Don't get me wrong, many of the local Chinese (and some westerners) have beautiful apartments. I just wonder how long until the upper floors start collapsing onto the lower floors.

They do original work as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227773)

Or at least big improvements on what they copy: Just look at how efficiently they do censorship and internet blockades. Most Western "democracies" can only dream of the shit the Chinese "democracy" can get away with.

Did he mean Soviet Europe? (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227813)

'The moment I stepped into here, I felt I was in Europe,' says 22-year-old Zhu Bin, a Huizhou resident.

I suppose now, like a typical Western European, he can raise a placard that says "Free Tibet" and not get arrested by the police or roughed-up by plainclothes thugs? Maybe it's part of China's grand pland to recreate Disney World, capitalism without the chaos of Western-style democracy or rights (even if those selfsame rights are being diminished by the minute).

Was anyone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227847)

Hoping it was more nefarious like for military tests?

Not as creepy as I first thought (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227879)

At first I thought the town had their DNA swiped covertly, and then were found to be cloned in China.

Now that'd be creepy

Identity issues. (4, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227933)

Sometimes it really is sad watching one of the oldest countries in the world, once rich and deep with its own unique culture...be reduced to a Xerox machine.

Re:Identity issues. (3, Insightful)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228023)

Pffft. This is a Chinese tourist destination, not a way of life. It is one step away from a theme park. Saying they are discarding their own culture by making/visiting a fake Austrian town is like saying that I'm discarding my Anglo heritage if I go to a Greek restaurant to drink Ouzo, watch belly dancers and break plates. Playing like they are in Europe for the day doesn't degrade their Chinese-ness.

Re:Identity issues. (2)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228147)

Sometimes it really is sad watching one of the oldest countries in the world, once rich and deep with its own unique culture...be reduced to a Xerox machine.

Like Virginia [youtube.com] ?

So much money and power and such tiny imaginations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40227937)

The epitome of capitalism.
In the end they will all "steal" from each other that which they had no hand in actually producing themselves.
And everyone else will suffer because those in power will "own" it all and require us to fulfill their desires, as twisted and unrealistic as they may be.
Why improve anything? Just buy out or steal from the guy down the street and crush the copycats.
We will not last long on this planet with this kind of thinking.

Leavenworth, WA ... (2)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40227993)

I toured through Washington State in December/January (after battling through US border security ...don't get me started) and I swear there's a whole Austrian township in there.

We also saw some lumbering gorilla-type figures, and I took some blurry photos.

Huis Ten Bosch (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228047)

This sounds a lot like Huis Ten Bosch [huistenbosch.co.jp] in Japan near Nagasaki. A surprisingly complete (and well maintained) replica of a Dutch town. I don't know how it stays in business as it was pretty much a ghost town when I was there, but all of the gardens and buildings are well maintained, even the hotels that are closed due to lack of business have well maintained exteriors.

Though I guess the difference is that the Japanese built it in cooperation with the Dutch government.

Salt mines (1)

lahvak (69490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40228107)

Did they also recreated the salt mines?

Imitation is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40228165)

Imitation is the sincerest form of lack of inventiveness.

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