Another day, another pledge to fight piracy

The visit of Chinese President Hu Jintau to the U.S. is another opportunity for American businesses and government to address the more dire problem the Asian communist superpower poses: human rights abuses nuclear proliferation copyright violations.

Every time a Chinese official visits the U.S., or vice versa, there’s a new promise to crackdown on piracy. This time is looking no different, as the Hollywood Reporter informs us:

Chinese President Hu Jintao is on his first visit to the U.S. as that nation’s leader, and when he leaves the White House Thursday, entertainment industry executives hope he takes a commitment to fight copyright piracy back to his homeland.

Among the litany of complaints Washington has with Beijing is the seemingly endless addiction the rising Asian economic, political and military powerhouse has for bootleg movies, music and other intellectual property…

That Hu’s American visit began with a tour of Microsoft and dinner with Gates could be viewed as a sign of a newfound seriousness the Chinese government has pertaining to intellectual property theft…

There also have been recent shows of force by the Chinese regarding piracy of entertainment products; authorities there have closed a half-dozen illegal optical disc plants and said they have eight more under investigation.

China is always happy to make shows of cracking down on piracy, like this one last year. But let’s be honest. China’s about as likely to devote the massive resources that would be necessary to seriously crack down on piracy as it is to recognize Taiwan and start airing the Fox News Channel.

And why should they? As the MPAA and RIAA have learned domestically, piracy is like a hydra. Shut down one street corner bootlegger or bit torrent server and two pop up tomorrow. As great a moral victory as the Grokster decision was, it had zero impact on Internet piracy.

Large scale copyright violations will only subside in China when the people start making enough to afford the real thing, movie and music companies offer something cheap and compelling enough to entice the average person and the Chinese government lets them do it. If you thought Tianemen Square was a show of force, imagine what it would take to tell 1 billion Chinese people that they can only watch the 20 American movies allowed into the company per year and otherwise have to wait until an affordable, legitimate DVD business develops.