COPYRIGHT HARPIES are alarmed that a lack of Chinese involvement will hamper the effectiveness of ACTA, the international Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
We suspect that the protection of western media producers' intellectual property rights and economic survival is pretty off-topic in Chinese government meetings, and it seems equally unlikely that China's population will opt to pay 'a lot' for a piece of media when before they had paid 'not much', so this comes as no surprise to us.
But apparently those behind ACTA thought that they might have been able to get China on board. The fact that they have not has stymied ACTA negotiations, according to people familiar with the situation.
"Critics say the omission of China from the list - the main source of the world's counterfeit goods - makes the deal almost worthless, an argument strong refuted by the EU", reports the EU Observer website.
China is of course one of the biggest producers of counterfeit material in the world, which would make it the Goldenballs of any ACTA lineup. As it stands, the lineup is pretty second division, and includes not very-copyright infringing Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Morocco, Switzerland, Europe and the United States, which at least has a big, potentially-pirating market to stomp on.
ACTA is lot like the UK Digital Economy Act, and essentially hands over the bothersome business of policing industries and hassling individuals to the copyright holders. Which, as we have learned, is a far from trouble free business.
We don't often agree with Chinese government decisions and attitudes, but in this case we might make an exception. µ