In Defense of Piracy and Openness

Interesting commentary by Chinese documentary filmmaker Hao Wu on Marketplace. Wu explains that it is not possible to obtain most films in China except as pirated versions, and when there are official legal releases they are edited and censored by the government. If the United States is successful in getting China to devote substantial police resources to enforcement of international copyright law, a perhaps unintentional side effect is that access to information and openness will be squelched.

This raises the question of whether it is really in Hollywood’s long term interest to crack down on piracy in otherwise repressive regimes. It’s at least an interesting perspective to bring to the issue that I hadn’t really considered.