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We are talking about top-of-the-line high-tech products that America is accusing companies like Huawei are 'stealing.' There is not one case of such accusations brought before the WTO that has been found to have any validity. |
Let me repeat -- we are strictly concerned with heists in high-tech industries like chips from Qualcomm or Intel in the past and now Huawei, for those are the leading actors in determining the global economic pecking order.
There is no probable cause for Huawei to be motivated to ‘steal’ anything as the leader of the pack, inasmuch as there is no fathomable reason why James Lebron would want to steal notes on how to play basketball from David Copperfield – both are famous personalities in their own rights, but neither would want to lose that self-respect by hitching its own growth to stealing something from someone making some other pursuits.
Huawei is interested only in 5G technology, and its level of development is not something any American company is even close in achieving. Just a few days ago Huawei was itself suing a South Korean company for violating its patent rights in the civil court, but it did not make any headlines since it wasn’t as sensational as the Huawei case, and in fact Huawei never brought the suit into China’s criminal court system.
So obviously the charges against Huawei are nothing more than a “thief-yelling-catch-thief” trick used by the U.S. Crime Boss to throw the scent off his own criminal track while being heavily pursued by Special Investigator Robert Mueller on everything from A to Z.
Software piracy was rampant globally because the technologies needed to prevent such abuse were non-existent just a few years ago. When so-called legality was not enforceable then those were not true legal rights. The problem is that it also permeated every corner in the world including the United States itself from sea to shining sea. It happened because laws against such use were largely unenforceable.
What exactly is ‘unenforceable’?
That means you can put it into the penal code but you can’t actually enforce it because the level of technology required to do so is non-existent. For instance, the four great inventions of China – paper, gunpowder, mariner’s compass and movable type of printing – all had indisputably intellectual property rights in the old systems, but because they were not enforceable, China had not been able to collect one cent for those innovations from their foreign users.
If IP property rights had been enforceable down the centuries, it would have long ago generated enough cash for China to buy up all the lands and properties in the civilized world and then some.
Another reason is the pursuit of cultural influence. American textbooks were too expensive for non-Americans to buy and so in order to spread Western culture, various publishing houses allowed “Asian editions” to be available to foreign students at a small fraction of the printed price to spread U.S. soft power.
This had also happened in the realm of software development. The reason why companies let non-American users make ‘illegal copies’ of its pre-Windows 10 platforms because once you start to use Windows as your platform, Microsoft can earn enough revenues from these related business avenues to compensate for the ‘losses’ incurred by their tolerance of the use of the pirated versions.
To put it another way, when reproduction and distribution technologies of name-brand software was still relatively primitive, IP protection was a laudable but impracticable policy, inasmuch as asking a scantily-clad Marilyn Monroe to walk alone after midnight into the red-lantern district of Amsterdam unmolested is at best a heroic but sad joke.
I have friends and acquaintances who work in these software companies and they tell me that before Big Data and Cloud Computing came into existence, there was no way to prevent any user from placing a blank disc into a Zipspin and produce ten thousand copies of Windows 95 for distribution.
Now with Cloud Computing you need to subscribe to the use of their software annually on a renewal basis, and not just start using it with a copy and a code. So piracy in this area has virtually disappeared because of lack of legacy compatibility – you can’t use an 2015 version to work on 2018 projects.
All this goes to show that you cannot then single China out and say “hey you thief you are stealing my IP rights point black – what am I a sucker or what?” when this is a global phenomenon, including inside the good ole USA itself, where I have heard that you can simply go to any pirating website and download material to your heart’s desires.
In fact any unbiased observer can see that China is in fact the best performer on IP rights protection as far as products like Windows are concerned. By Chinese law all official government agencies and SOEs use original factory-manufactured software. Other than for reasons of moral probity as espoused in the Confucian culture, this is also because Chinese patents have reached a level that its IP rights need to be protected as much as foreign ones do.