In 1709 the Statute of Anne created the first purpose-built copyright law. This blog, founded just 300 short and unextended years later, is dedicated to all things copyright, warts and all. To contact the 1709 Blog, email Jeremy at email@example.com
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Thursday, 3 January 2013
China: the country that can copy anything
We seem to talk about China quite a bit on this blog (see Ben's
report on Apple here
and my post on China's new copyright registration system here):
the economic boom which it has been enjoying for the last decade, coupled with
its "get rich now, fix problems later" attitude means that the
country has widely-publicised problems with copyright infringement. The latest
example being wholesale copying of an as yet uncompleted building, the Wangjing
SOHO in Beijing.
The SOHO building comprises three curving towers. It was designed
by the Iraqi-British architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, who recently designed the
Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics and who no fewer than 11 current projects in China. The SOHO towers
are currently under construction, yet a group of pirate architects and
construction teams is already building a copy of the towers in Chongqing , in southern
China. Embarrassingly, the pirates look set to complete their building before
the original is finished.
According to the German newspaper Der
Spiegel, Yet You Yunting, a Shanghai-based lawyer has said that China's
copyright law includes protection for works of architecture and that "SOHO
could have a good chance of winning litigation in this case." However he
says that "even if the judge rules in favor of SOHO, the court will not
force the defendant to pull the building down. But it could order the payment
Zaha Hadid is said
to have a philosophical stance on the copying of her designs: If future
generations of these cloned buildings display innovative mutations, "that
could be quite exciting." I wonder if the financial backers of the
Wangjing SOHO project feel the same way?
You can see a picture of the Wangjing SOHO towers here.