Chinese Copyright Theft

(with thanks to Matthew Badham): Illustrator Darren Di Lieto and British artist Jonathan Edwards are just two of many creators on the warpath after discovering a Hong Kong-based publisher has illegally used illustrations and interviews conducted by Darren in a new book – and is charging a huge amount for copies.

The artists are urging interested buyers not to purchase , pointing out the book not only uses stolen images taken from web sites and blogs across the ‘Net but includes on a CD of them in the back. “This seems to give the impression that all the featured images are clip-art or copyright free which is certainly not the case,” says Jonathan Edwards.

The images file-names on the CD have not even been renamed in any way, so you can see exactly where they were taken from.

Even the interviews are word for word from thefts from the Little Chimp Society web site, with all the original typos and switching between English and American grammar.

Earlier this month, China’s Cabinet, known as the State Council issued guidelines on a national Intellectual Property Rights strategy at an executive meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. Variety reported the strategy includes greater efforts to crack down on IPR infringement, protect legal rights, strengthen international co-operation and stick closer to international practice, as well as try to raise public awareness. Action against pirates has been harsh – with some entire shopping malls closed down if pirate goods are found.

The International Herald Tribune reported this week that the European Union has started to become as concerned by Chinese piracy as the US. Violations of intellectual property rights, trademarks and patents held by EU companies and researchers will be high on the agenda when European Commission President Manuel Barroso leads a large delegation into two days of economic and trade talks in Beijing starting Thursday.

So, at a time when the Chinese government is taking renewed action against piracy, news of this book comes as a blow to all concerned – not just because of the potential loss of sales for the creators but in terms of the level of fraud involved, with the ‘publishers’ apparently doing their utmost to cover their tracks.

In short, do not buy this book!

Categories: British Comics - Books


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