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Piracy/Privacy: The Despair of Cinema and Collectivity in China

Piracy/Privacy: The Despair of Cinema and Collectivity in China boundary 2 31:3, 2004. Copyright © 2004 by Duke University Press. 102 boundary 2 / Fall 2004 China within a week of the film’s debut release in the United States, and pirated copies of Titanic outsold legitimate ones by about thirty to one. ‘‘The [piracy] trade has made it almost impossible to sell legitimate video discs [in China], and dampened the lure of Hollywood films in movie theaters.’’ 3 The common understanding in the international business world is that this piracy is nothing but robbery, which the Chinese government tacitly ignores, and which the Chinese people fervently and shamelessly support. In this article, I examine the participation of the Chinese State and the Chinese people in the flourishing movie piracy market, but not with the aim of endorsing the stereotypical view of the Chinese people’s uncivilized disrespect for intellectual property. Rather, I aim to challenge the notion that piracy is an ethical issue, and I will take up the question of whether intellectual property is simply a matter of individuals’ rights and assets that must be protected at all costs. As both concept and reality—cutting across divergent social, cultural, political, and economic discourses—movie piracy in China is largely http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture Duke University Press

Piracy/Privacy: The Despair of Cinema and Collectivity in China

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0190-3659
eISSN
1527-2141
DOI
10.1215/01903659-31-3-101
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

boundary 2 31:3, 2004. Copyright © 2004 by Duke University Press. 102 boundary 2 / Fall 2004 China within a week of the film’s debut release in the United States, and pirated copies of Titanic outsold legitimate ones by about thirty to one. ‘‘The [piracy] trade has made it almost impossible to sell legitimate video discs [in China], and dampened the lure of Hollywood films in movie theaters.’’ 3 The common understanding in the international business world is that this piracy is nothing but robbery, which the Chinese government tacitly ignores, and which the Chinese people fervently and shamelessly support. In this article, I examine the participation of the Chinese State and the Chinese people in the flourishing movie piracy market, but not with the aim of endorsing the stereotypical view of the Chinese people’s uncivilized disrespect for intellectual property. Rather, I aim to challenge the notion that piracy is an ethical issue, and I will take up the question of whether intellectual property is simply a matter of individuals’ rights and assets that must be protected at all costs. As both concept and reality—cutting across divergent social, cultural, political, and economic discourses—movie piracy in China is largely

Journal

boundary 2: an international journal of literature and cultureDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2004

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