Theft

[UPDATE: Be sure to see the comment below from Roger. The power of blogs.]

Kind of funny, how blase some Chinese institutions are about stealing copy word for word from other web sites and passing the material off as their own. This is an old story, but here’s a new example that’s even more brazen than usual. Amazing, when you consider this is an “Institute” with an official-sounding title, a group you’d expect to be serious and scholarly.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 21 Comments

Since the blog is housed in the US (I’m assuming) or some other western country where many Confucious Institutes are popping up, I would think that the bloggers could hit the local CIs with a lawsuit. They aren’t independent franchises since they are financed by Beijing.

July 11, 2007 @ 8:03 am | Comment

I’ve had posts from my Chinese blog go up all over the web — mostly onto other people’s personal blogs, which I have no problem with, but also in several cases onto major portal sites. They kept attribution, at least, but it was rather irritating. As far as I know, it’s still up there — I never bothered to contact them about getting it down, or even really looked into it beyond asking a friend who works at NetEase if she knew of anybody I could talk to.

July 11, 2007 @ 9:53 am | Comment

The trick, of course, is to write things that are largely negative towards China. That seems to do the trick for me ;)

July 11, 2007 @ 10:54 am | Comment

China Daily website does it all the time as well – it’s a disgrace. Taking from private blogs is laughable in the extreme, but the consequences will only be felt when, for example, Sports Illustrated realize that every feature story they do about Chinese sports is reproduced.

Bring on the lawsuit – it’s the only way they’ll learn.

July 11, 2007 @ 11:41 am | Comment

nanheyangrouchua said, “Since the blog is housed in the US (I’m assuming) or some other western country where many Confucious Institutes are popping up … ”

Not really. Confucius Institute Online (CIO) is an online language learning platform run by linese.com. The contact details on both CIO and linese.com seem to indicate that both sites are running from China. The most ironical part of it is that they are both copy-right protected.

Confucius Institutes operating worldwide are not only funded by Hanban; they are also profit-making commercial operations. They charge people an arm and a leg for learning Chinese language. CIO is used as an online aid to supplement formal fee-paying classes. So we can conclude that CIO is stealing material from other websites to make money. It would be a criminal offence in most countries where copy-right legislations are earnestly observed. But I’m not sure about China. May be those with a legal brains here at TPD can give us more insight into such practices in China.

July 11, 2007 @ 2:49 pm | Comment

Actual Confucian Institutes are brick and mortar classrooms in various cities around the world, which should make them open to lawsuit because their main website is stealing online, published information from websites in those same countries.

July 12, 2007 @ 1:10 am | Comment

Does anyone know whether Chinese military is

as powerful as American military now?

July 12, 2007 @ 3:50 am | Comment

A competitor decided to copy lots of content from my web site, including even why my wife and I started it (frustration on finding good material to teach Chinese to our daughter) and passing it as their own. I sent them something on the DCMA and since they were US based it worked – they took out the most blatant stuff. Their explanation was they felt the same way.

July 12, 2007 @ 4:25 am | Comment

“Does anyone know whether Chinese military is
as powerful as American military now?”

It’s land force is as lethal, but as yet it cannot effectively project power much beyond its shores.

But it can cause alot of trouble in cyberspace and in orbit.

July 12, 2007 @ 6:17 am | Comment

bad, thin skinned china!

July 12, 2007 @ 8:29 am | Comment

That’s it, nanhe. You are banned.

July 12, 2007 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

I sent Richard’s view to Confucius Institute Online along with comments from readers and received the following reply. Maybe this will end the negative comments.
…………………………………
We are extremely sorry for our infelicitous act. We have offered China Expat a frank apology for the use of China Expat’s articles without their permission. We have now removed all of the articles that you cited from our webpage.

The Confucius Institute Online website is still in its testing phase. At this stage of its development we regret any mistakes that we have made.

We have disciplined all staff involved with the mistakenly used content. The person who was primarily responsible for mistakenly using your articles is no longer working with us.

Please accept our sincere apologies.

Sincerely

Confucius Institute online

July 12, 2007 @ 10:35 pm | Comment

Wow.

July 13, 2007 @ 12:01 pm | Comment

Let me repeat that. Wow. That’s a hell of an apology.

And my god Richard, did you actually ban Nanheyangrouchuan. I’m kinda surprised it didn’t happen sooner. :-)

July 13, 2007 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

Yes, I banned him. Unfortunately, I am traveling and can’t check the site very often to enforce the ban. If he dramatically tones down his anti-China rhetoric I might reconsider.

July 13, 2007 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

I never had a problem with nanheyangrouchuan’s anti-China rhetoric; what irked me was that he was consistently inane, predictable, and hackneyed. I’ve never seen him support a single one of his assertions, or add anything to any discussion he’s joined. Even that could’ve been forgiven, if he weren’t so deathly goddamn boring.

July 14, 2007 @ 1:32 am | Comment

Brendan, I don’t usually ban commenters for being boring and hackneyed, but you’re right – those are the qualities that make nanhe’s comments uniquely irritating.

July 14, 2007 @ 3:33 am | Comment

I say it’s about time and big thumbs up.
To CIO, and to richard.

July 14, 2007 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

It’s the repeated cliches. Can’t stand ‘em. Good grounds for banning.

July 16, 2007 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

It is understandable that their is plaguarism is China, as there is in any other country around the world, especially in accademic circles. As normal though the difference is how the establisment in those countries deals with it. Respected academia who are caught doing such things lose all respect from their colleagues and can face further censure or be sued. In China, I am not sure what the rules are in such instances but if it benefits the government I doubt much will happen…

Working in the car industry one frequently sees design ideas from one company taken away and used on other designs from other companies, but normally copying the whole design is a bit much. I thought it was bad enough with the Chevrolet Spark (old Daewoo Matiz) being copied by Chery and called the QQ, but there is an even better one now… See the links below.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2205500,00.html

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=117145

Since most car companies cannot setup in China without government approval what can any foreign OEM hope to do against it? The only chance they have is if the Chinese company wants to export. What is funny is that they know that they are probably doing wrong but do it anyway…. See the quote taken out of the first article.

“When we designed the car we were aware that we might be opening ourselves up to legal action,” said Jerry Chen, sales manager for CMEC, which is usually involved in importing and exporting machine tools. “That’s why we’ve imitated the outside but concentrated on making the interior look different.”

Looking at the cost of importing cars into China; when you add in all the taxes and everything else this is about 100% on top of the price, I wonder if western countries will consider doing the same to Chinese cars, after all that is the normal response from China. You do to us… We do the same back.

July 17, 2007 @ 10:59 am | Comment

A new Gold mining scandal, centered in China, and reminiscent of the Bre-X mining scandal
in Indonesia in the ’90s, may be looming:
http://tinyurl.com/2sycmp
A Canadian mining co. , Southwestern Resources, which is developing a gold project in
China, has just fired its Chinese manager on suspicion of tampering with assay (drill) results.
A top executive at head office recently resigned,
possibly for related reasons.
Southwestern was a darling of many analysts a few years back, as Bre-X had become a darling, before the fraud of salted assay results came to light, and killed the co. with a worthless, gold-less property, which had been touted to have the largest gold deposit found in decades!
That scandal signaled the beginning of the end of the mining sector bull mkt. in the early-mid ’90s, and the start of a long multi year bear mkt. for the mining sector. Hopefully this one won’t bode as ill as Bre-X did! It doesn’t seem possible it could.

July 21, 2007 @ 1:12 am | Comment

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