Feeds

Big Content split on China's IP crackdown

BSA and MPAA clash over Taobao as 'Notorious Market'

New hybrid storage solutions

The movie and software lobbyists don’t seem to be able to agree on whether to drop China’s biggest e-commerce marketplace site Taobao from the US government's list of "Notorious Markets" in which pirates and counterfeiters operate with impunity.

Taobao, often referred to as the eBay of China, allows individuals and small businesses to sell their wares through virtual storefronts. The site has a reported 500 million registered users but has struggled to make it off the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) list of ‘Notorious Markets’. The USTR had this to say about the site when it released its latest update in December 2011:

Several commenters reported that pirated and counterfeit goods continue to be widely available on China-based Taobao. While stakeholders report that Taobao continues to make significant efforts to address the problem, they recognise that much remains to be done.

There could be light at the end of the tunnel, however, after Taobao recently struck a deal with Motion Picture Association (MPA) designed to cut the number of copyright infringing goods sold on the site.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will include measures such as removing any infringing products from the listings and working with police to pursue persistent offenders.

Unsurprisingly, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) – the US arm of the MPA – is now getting behind Taobao.

"We are optimistic that Taobao will continue to take the steps necessary to make real and permanent reductions in the availability of counterfeit goods on their e-commerce platform," the group said to the USTR recently, according to Reuters.

The Recording Industry Association of America and the International Intellectual Property Alliance have apparently also got on board, by failing to nominate the Chinese site for the USTR’s next blacklist.

However, anti-software piracy group the Business Software Alliance is proving to be a harder sell, claiming that “unauthorised software and keys remain extremely popular and ubiquitous on the web site", according to the report.

Alibaba Group, the e-commerce giant which owns Taobao and in which Yahoo still has a significant chunk of money invested, will be hoping the site can follow Baidu, which was dropped from the list by USTR last December.

As to why it’s important for a Chinese e-commerce site to be dropped from a US government black list – aside from potentially influencing foreign investment, there are plans afoot in Congress for laws which could end up with such sites being forcibly blocked in the USA, according to Bloomberg.

Alibaba Group and BSA couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.