Heh heh, I was amused to read this article from the New York Times.
Looks like spells & potions & charms are not going to protect Harry Potter from the rampages of Chinese piracy. This takes copyright violation to a whole new level.
The lure of making a buck is so strong in this country; the response of a Chinese publisher of bootleg Harry Potter books says it all:
“We published the book out of a very common incentive. Harry Potter was so popular that we wanted to enjoy the fruits of its widely accepted publicity in China.”
Bootleg DVDs & CDs, clothes, handbags, shoes....the list goes on. It is SOOOO rampant here, I don't see how the Chinese government is going to clamp down on it in its on-going attempt to put on a good "face" for the 2008 Olympics.
It's an uphill battle. Especially when the Chinese people themselves don't really understand (or probably, don't really care about) the concept of intellectual property & copyright. See what another Chinese publisher says:
“Everything would have been fine if they hadn’t made the cover so obvious, even if you copied some sections of the original story,” she said. “But the cover was so outstanding, and foreign people care a lot about things like that.”
Well, until the Chinese people also care a lot about "things like that", I don't think piracy is going to go away anytime soon. Right now, they're talking the talk. But it will be some time yet before they walk the walk.