Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Shanghai’s English Language TV Site Admits to Pirating Subtitles

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 23, 2011

China has a different view on copyrights than most other countries. Based upon the gaggle of Iprods and Rorex watches, it would appear that they are pretty comfortable with hacking or pirating a good thing. Thus, it should be no surprise to learn that Shanghai’s only English language channel did just that, they ‘borrowed’ english subtitles from an amateur translation group to be used during the airing of a British TV series.

The funny thing is that this Shanghai based station is a state owned enterprise thus they have access to all of the coffers of the cash that has rightfully and wrongfully been obtained over the past thirty years, so why not just pay up or do it in house? This is a phenomenon I have seen quite a bit here in China. They are either too lazy, as in this case, the Shanghai group said that they did not have enough time to do the work themselves, or they are too tight to pay for good translators, or too prideful as they believe that they have studied english their entire lives and they really must not suck, even though they often do. In any event, Shanghai fessed up to the problem and begged forgiveness.  To me it is things like this that make me chuckle whenever China talks about ipr protection. If a large state owned enterprise-read as communist company, does this sort of thing, you can imagine what is happening at the lower levels.


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