china buying software

David Gerard dgerard at
Wed Jan 19 16:52:56 UTC 2011

On 19 January 2011 16:31, Douglas Pollard <dougpol1 at> wrote:

> Watched C-span this morning. Some there are saying that China will now
> enforce  copyright laws more.  This person seemed to think they will be
> buying more software from the US and influence our balance of payments..
> IF they do enforce the software copy right laws which I don't think they
> will do. Why would any chinese person buy Microsoft products when they can
> simply use Linux.  Seems to me like this is a great way to increase linux's
> share of world use. If they are using Microsoft it's likely because it is
> free.  Companies that are dealing directly with the US may want to use
> Microsoft so files sent to the US will look more familiar here but they are
> likely way in the minority.

At this stage they'd be fools to actually enforce the whole copyright
and patent infrastructure of the West, for the same reason the US
didn't in the 19th Century - all the copyrights were owned in other
countries, so they'd be silly to pay monopoly rents they could avoid.

And so we see the actual behaviour: China enforces Western copyrights
sporadically and haphazardly, to give sufficient appearance of
compliance without being so foolish as to thoroughly comply.

Given this, I don't expect much to change, barring a Putin-style
decree. Which is possible - the leadership of China is largely
technocrats. But it won't be for this reason.

- d.

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