Taiwan Boasts New Effective Model for Copyright Enforcement

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for Taiwan claims to have developed a more effective model for reducing software piracy. Apparently these methods are so effective that other nations are expected to copy. Let’s hope they are not patented. O_O

Hung said Taiwan’s software piracy rate has decreased from 63 percent posted in 2002 to the present 37 percent, which is the third- lowest in Asia, and 23rd-lowest in the world.

I have no idea what methods are being used to reduce piracy, by what means the so-called piracy is taking place (internet? street vendors?) or how they measure the rate of piracy. All I know is that they are boasting numbers that are making the ears of western nations perk up. oddly, these nations seem more interested in enforcing these models in China instead within their own borders.

major Western economies have been giving serious thought as to whether Taiwan’s success in battling IPR piracy could be duplicated in China

What is the motivation behind stricter enforcement of software copyright? The usual:

Boxall said that if the software piracy rate can be lowered by a further 10 percent within the next four years, it will represent an economic gain of NT$15 billion (US$515.99 million), of which 73 percent could be enjoyed by the local economy.

Yeah right, Boxall. I am not buying that at all. Show us the figures indicating that less piracy will equal more sales. In fact, go ahead and reduce software piracy by 10% and let’s see if your people suddenly have an extra $515 million to spend that they are just sitting on because they are cheap.

Even if that is the case, they certainly wouldn’t be spending the $515 million in other markets, would they? So go ahead with your plan of reducing piracy and magically introducing $515 million into the economy. I’ll be looking forward to your results.

However, I do agree with a point made by Hung Shu-Min:

Responding to Boxall’s comment that IT expenditure is only 1.46 percent of Taiwan’s GDP, a figure much lower than the 4.18 percent in the United States and also lagging behind the figures for South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, Hung said the government put NT$35 billion into IT expenditure in 2005, a figure that had increased to NT$40 billion by 2008.

This is an important thing for any nation worth it’s salt to invest in. But this requires some consideration of whether this money is spent on producing better technology and increasing access or whether it is spent on some magic anti-piracy beans that have no demonstrable promise of any sort of economic return on the investment.

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