BULL STREET - The art of the Con

Plagiarism Around the Globe

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Courts have spent years pondering when flattery shades into copyright infringement or theft of the written word, inventions and music.  The CIA and  Russia’s KGB has perfected this sincerest form of flattery.  Entire nations have made plagiarism and copyright violations a national pastime:  Japan and India have made a life’s work of reverse engineering; Japan, in consumer goods and machinery, and India in pharmaceuticals.  Several Asian nations have advanced talents in forging software and music.  Astoundingly, over ninety-percent of the software invented by American companies is illegally copied in Asia. Stanley, a neighborhood in Hong Kong, is a world center for knocking off expensive designer label goods, whose bona fide manufacturers spend a fortune on public relations and advertising to create the right cachet. In New York City’s Chinatown, a Mecca for bargain-hunting tourists with an eye for credible fakes, cops recently seized $200 million worth of knock-offs stashed in an underground storage facility. It’s a big business and in spit of the fact that we would like to say that we are above such things, the facts argue differently.

In the same general category, software is the target of people that want to do things a little cheaper and do not fear the results of their actions.  No less than 90 percent of the software sold in as written by American companies is illegally copied, packaged and sold. Microsoft in particular, tours the world trying to put a lid on this practice with no discernable result.

Going Hollywood

In China, movie theaters literally do not exist because everyone has a VCR and American movies are illegally distributed there before they hit the screens in the USA. These movies are purchased from local vendors for a couple of bucks and the entire family will sit around the television set and watch it. Nevertheless, the copying of new movies doesn’t have to be on the other side of the globe. The day a hot new movie that is going to be released; one of the gang of intellectual property thieves, grabs a seat up front in quiet movie theater and shots the film with a video camera. Meanwhile his cohorts are busily at work at their print shop making glossy covers for the DVDs or VCRs that are to be mass-produced. Within a day, the movies are on the street being hawked by vendors at $5 a copy at least in New York. Moreover, no one seems to care, not even the police as few of these illegals are ever even made to move their location where they are displaying their illegal wares.



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