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Piracy United States Politics Your Rights Online

US Targeting China In New Anti-Piracy Drive 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the most-pirated-nation-status dept.
oxide7 writes "The United States will make China 'a significant focus' of its beefed-up efforts to fight global piracy and counterfeiting of US goods ranging from CDs to manufactured products, a US official said on Wednesday. The International Intellectual Property Alliance, which represents US copyright industry groups, has estimated lost sales in China at more than $3.5 billion in 2009 due to piracy of US music, movies and software."
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US Targeting China In New Anti-Piracy Drive

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  • Give it a rest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gizmod (931775) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:41AM (#32987110)
    Ah give it a rest allready. Sheesh, when will the US learn that not everyone dances to their tune.
    • by tnok85 (1434319) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:47AM (#32987146)
      I think most people agree that the US does not produce the best dance music anymore, so I sort of think you're beating a dead horse.
      • by dylan_- (1661) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @06:03AM (#32987706) Homepage

        I think most people agree that the US does not produce the best dance music anymore, so I sort of think you're beating a dead horse.

        Beating a dead horse will only give you a crisp beat for about 10 minutes or so; after that it starts to sound a bit "squishy". No wonder you don't produce the best dance music if you can't sort out your percussion.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        I think most people agree that the US does not produce the best dance music anymore,

        No one produces decent music any more. Modern " dance" makes you look like you're having an elliptic fit whilst unable to change a skipping record.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by MEC2 (1855148)
      I think that's the problem, everyone is dancing to their tune - the tune they copied/pilfered or otherwise didn't pay for... When China steals it gains unfair advantage in a market. Businesses that have to comply with legal software licensing have costs the Chinese don't. So next time we all bemoan jobs going to China instead of where we all live, remember that China's ability to steal software to reduce their price of production is an unfair advantage that leads to pricing legitimately run business out o
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You got it backwards. The US is imposing unfair disadvantages on their own industry by forcing them to pay for information that would naturally be free. The next time someone bemoans jobs going to China they should complain to the government about stupid copyright laws harming the US industry.

        • The US is imposing unfair disadvantages on their own industry by forcing them to pay for information that would naturally be free.

          On the other hand, the notion of "piracy is OK because it's so common in China that it's not regarded as a crime" becomes a bit messy when sites such as dvdorderonline [dvdsordereonline.com] (note their deliberate misspelling in the URL) are selling rip-off copyright works internationally at prices not much lower than authentic copies.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            the notion of "piracy is OK because it's so common in China that it's not regarded as a crime"

            Who said anything about piracy being ok because it's common in China?
            Piracy is a crime, assaulting ships and possibly killing their crew is violent and has to be stopped.
            In case you were talking about copying information: Nobody is ever harmed by that. The whole concept of being an owner of an infinitely available item is absurd to begin with. Ownership only makes sense for items with finite availability. That's wh

          • Re:Give it a rest (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Bert64 (520050) <bert@NoSPaM.slashdot.firenzee.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @06:27AM (#32987798) Homepage

            The legitimate producers could afford to price match or even undercut the copied works due to economies of scale...

            Faced with 2 identical products for the same price, people will always choose the more reputable source...

            But the fact is, dvdorderonline has a highly profitable business, because of the price fixing cartels in the west they are able to take unrealistically high margins on their products while still undercutting the competition and offering a superior product (no drm, no unskippable junk etc)... If faced with stiff competition, their margins would be razor thin like virtually every other line of business.

            • The legitimate producers could afford to price match or even undercut the copied works due to economies of scale...

              ... if they didn't have to invest in the effort (R&D, movie or music production, etc) to produce something in the first place.

              What we really ought to do is simply say "Sure, copy all you want ... we'll just deduct it from the bill we owe you," and leave the rest to the Hollywood accountants. Debt problem solved in no time!

            • dvdorderonline has a highly profitable business, because of the price fixing cartels in the west they are able to take unrealistically high margins on their products while still undercutting the competition and offering a superior product

              If you think their products are superior, then you haven't seen them. I had a boxed set from them recently (an ill-advised purchase resulting from a superfluity of alcohol) that had a 65% failure rate owing to extremely poor handling in some cases and poor encoding in ot
      • It's not stealing. It's not even breaking copyright if there is no local law against it. If you think that the laws in China provide such an unfair competitive advantage, why not move to China to take advantage of the system?

        I really doubt that free software, music and movies are the reason that production costs in China are lower. That type of thing would give an advantage to certain types of small engineering firms certainly because they'd save tens of thousands of dollar on software (though they'd also b

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:57AM (#32987172)

      a US administration helped to power by media/entertainment groups to give a rest protecting their vested interests? Think again.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        a US administration helped to power by media/entertainment groups to give a rest protecting their vested interests? Think again.

        So...

        Which administration got in again?

    • Re:Give it a rest (Score:5, Insightful)

      by johnhp (1807490) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:07AM (#32987220)
      The copyright laws in the US aren't "the tune" of the people. They're just another tool for the rich to extract profit from resources. Just like they drill exploratory oil wells in the search for oil, these attempts to enforce copyright in China are an attempt expand an old game to a new area.

      The level of copyright enforcement in China is probably directly related to how much the industry is willing to pay the enforcers. Share enough of the profits, and I bet China would be happy to send pirates away to a gulag.

      In the long run though, copyright is over. A few major industries will cease to exist in their current form during the next century. All digital content will be considered basically free in a sort of universal public library. What money there is to make will be made by showing movies in theaters, performing live music, and selling physical books to fans of the digital version. I think we'll see a real renaissance once the chains of industry are removed.

      China doesn't respect copyright even to the extent of westerners. Unfortunately for the US, that means they could be first to prosper from this revolution. It may be that in 50 years, Chinese villagers will educate themselves with the best books and movies for free, while we in the US are enslaved under the RIAA's latest hellish plot.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Anyone who expects artists to work without compensation would be a hypocrite if they didn't similarly offer their labor pro bono. The ideal solution for this problem is not unfettered piracy. But I definitely don't think the RIAA's death grip (and yes, it is a death grip; we can confidently conclude rigor mortis has set it) on standing copyrights is the best solution for artists, either. In an ideal world, people would purchase media which they value most and pirate the rest. Artists still make money; art
        • Anyone who expects artists to work without compensation

          Firstly, this is much broader than copyright law. Imaginary property also includes trademark law and patents.
          Secondly, being opposed to current copyright law, does not mean being opposed to copyright law altogether. Having a copyright term of life plus seventy adds very little extra incentive compared to, for example, a fifty year fixed period - but hugely shrinks the public domain. A social optimum copyright law (balancing increasing the public domain with incentives) will, fairly obviously, be somewhere i

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Imaginary property also includes trademark law and patents.

            I am also against IP. I don't consider trademarks to fall under Imaginary Property. I consider trademarks to fall under fraud prevention. I only support trademarks that achieve this aim.

            I don't care if a manufacturer makes a cheap knockoff (or even an exact duplicate) of a Rolex watch and calls it a Polex watch. I do care if a manufacturer who isn't Rolex makes a watch while claiming to be Rolex.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)

          Artists are not expected to work for free, but similarly they shouldn't be allowed to continue being paid for work they've done long ago.
          I personally am disgusted to see artists who haven't produced any work in years, still making huge amounts of money...

          Put it this way, if i came to your house and did some plumbing work for you, would you give me a one off payment for the work and consider it settled, or would you continue paying me for the plumbing while i sat around taking drugs and rolling around drunk

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by delinear (991444)
            Regardless of how they spend the money (disgusting as it may be to many people), the real reason indefinite copyright is bad is because, if that artist can get paid forever for one successful piece of work, it takes away any reason they may have to produce further pieces of work in the future. The whole purpose of copyright is meant to be to ensure artists produce work, so if indefinite copyrights let them stop producing work then QED copyright is broken. If governments weren't so busy courting big media yo
          • What makes you think the lead singer of Herman's Hermits [wikipedia.org] deserves an easy ride?
          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Noone [wikipedia.org] deserves to just get an easy ride...

            Wait a minute, you just said he didn't!

            Did you perhaps mean "no one"?

        • by steelfood (895457)

          Anyone who expects artists to work without compensation would be a hypocrite if they didn't similarly offer their labor pro bono.

          Just FYI, you're posting on slashdot here.

          In one word: FOSS. Free, open-source software? Hello? You may not expect people to work for free, but there sure as hell are a lot of people doing it here and making a decent living. Anywhere else, and everybody would eat up your words, but here, nobody's going to take you seriously because that's exactly what they do.

          Realistically, you're correct. You can't expect everybody to work for free. But then again, artists are not entitled to money for producing art either

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357)

        Actually - I'd be quite happy to see piracy increase by orders of magnitude. I hope it drives a bunch of US companies to bankruptcy.

        Let's think a couple minutes. What exactly has fueled all the exporting of American jobs? Corporate greed. Outsourcing? Corporate greed. Copyright? Corporate greed. Corporations export jobs by the thousands, and tens of thousands - but they still want to be paid - for WHAT?

        Screw 'em. Let them keep exporting jobs. And, they can export all those executive bonuses along w

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Ah give it a rest allready. Sheesh, when will the US learn that not everyone dances to their tune.

      Understanding the spread of IP law? You fail it! [wikipedia.org]

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      The point here is strategic. US manifacturing is going down hard. They need to replace it with something, and some people see IP as a new way of transferring funs out of other nations into US.

      Problem is, Chinese have learned from being colonized by various countries in last few hundred years well, and they don't trust West at all knowing all well how we treat those who submit. So they'll throw US another bone to get its attention, while driving their own agenda of becoming THE superpower in this century and

    • by shnull (1359843)
      Well, maybe trying to tackle the new world power will teach them a lessen in how to achieve a trade-vietnam victory ? Saddest part is this witchhunt is paid for with your dollars and not with the industries...
    • I wouldn't be so sure.

      :-(

      Hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.
  • Still ahead (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How much money have these industries made by exporting manufacturing jobs from the US to China?

  • I have estimated (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:59AM (#32987178)

    I've estimated the US government owes me 1.63 billion dollars in lost sales.

    Because of the existance of the US, I lost the chance of selling my ballpen for exactly 1.63 billion dollars.

    Yes, my claim is much closer to reality than theirs and no, I won't explain how exactly I'm entitled to money from sales I didn't do, either.

    • by thijsh (910751)
      You should see the tax estimation you'll get after that... "On averagage ballpoint salesmen sell over a billion ballpoints per year, your failure to report these sales (or imaginary sale losses which now carry legal status) to the IRS results in the following tax estimate. Not all pages fit in the envelope so you'll receive the second part of pages containing all zeros in a later shipment..."
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Beat me to it. Personally, I'd put "lost sales" down to my inability to persuade close the deal, but I guess Microsoft hasn't stopped beating their wife whenever she flirts with another guy.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:05AM (#32987210)

    This is the kind of piracy that we need to worry about because it isn't just a matter of copyright infringement, it is a matter of fraud. When you make a knockoff copy of something and sell it to someone as legit, you are defrauding them, and you really are causing economic loss to the company who legitimately makes the product. That is a good deal different from simply copying something without permission. It is something worth trying to shut down because it is a real crime with real victims.

    I'm all for spending resources on cracking down on crimes where there are victims. I'm not so interested in spending lots of resources on victimless crimes.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thijsh (910751)
      Indeed, this are some of the most common levels of infringement consumers deal with:
      1. 1) P2P free sharing Infringement, this destroys no value (free evaluation copy) and gives free advertising of the product. When the product is any good the company selling the product should actually benefit from this (or so I've read from numerous studies. for music for example P2P creates net extra value for everyone except the likes of Britney Spears...).
      2. 2) For-pay infringement, this can be seen as destroying value (pe
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bert64 (520050)

        Copyright infringement generally doesn't result in inferior copies anymore... That was the old propaganda, that pirate copies were inferior to legitimately purchased copies and this was usually true in the days of analog media... Today, a digital copy could be absolutely identical to the original, or it could actually be superior (eg the DRM or other consumer-hostile features are removed).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by thijsh (910751)
          The inferior fakes are not copies, but a physical product disguised as the real thing... Have you ever seen a fake Levi's Jeans for example, it almost looks exactly the same but doesn't last as long by a long shot. I've also read reports of fake Cisco hardware that look and function exactly like the real thing... They only found out because people reported who contacted the helpdesk reported a nonexistent serial number... This is exactly the kind of counterfeiting China is well known for, and the resulting
          • The inferior fakes are not copies, but a physical product disguised as the real thing... Have you ever seen a fake Levi's Jeans for example, it almost looks exactly the same but doesn't last as long by a long shot. I've also read reports of fake Cisco hardware that look and function exactly like the real thing... They only found out because people reported who contacted the helpdesk reported a nonexistent serial number... This is exactly the kind of counterfeiting China is well known for, and the resulting products are almost without exception inferior copies. I do agree though, digital pirated copies are without a doubt a 'value added' product! No DRM, phoning home, added portability and compatibility etc. I've downloaded games I bought because the game crashed on install or required the CD in the drive, or another example: a Blueray movie can't be played with an Xbox360, but a Blueray-rip can (full HD)!

            In this case, the "fake" merchandise is--almost certainly--ripped off from the very same manufacturing plant that makes the official stuff. They're likely manufacturing the official stuff in China, anyhow. Also, as to quality of "fakes", if you've ever been to a manufacturing plant, you may be well aware that more than Brand X is made at a single factory; it's just not efficient for most products. Products not 100% to spec may be rebranded as Brand Y. Where do you think the "store brand" items come from

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            While you *can* get inferior fakes, this is rare with digital media, and the inferior quality versions are usually labelled as such (ie camrip etc) and generally only exist because there is no other option (ie no digital copy of the movie has been released yet)..
            So you could argue that they aren't really inferior at all, they are the best available at the time only to be superseded later.

            I have seen fake jeans and various other fake products, they vary wildly in quality but then the originals are often not

      • this are some of the most common levels of infringement consumers deal with

        With the rise of YouTube and other online self-publishing venues, people who would have otherwise remained consumers are becoming amateur producers as well. Now they have to deal with 4. reusing more of a work than fair use allows and 5. coincidental similarities between their own work and an existing non-free work.

        • by thijsh (910751)
          Yeah, Youtube and fair use is a far stretch, we've had audio removed from a clip op children performing a theatrical dance version of 'thriller' (with real crappy audio), and that old song is so important they need to block all audio... If home video stuff like that isn't fair use what is?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        If they claim to defend their financial interest in their products it's raises the question: Why don't they actually fight the infringement that causes the damage to the revenue? This clearly demonstrates that the MAFIAA was not interested in protecting their existing revenue stream, but are only trying to create an additional (unrelated) stream of litigation-revenue from the consumers who commit level 1 infringement.

        A more logical reason is their hidden agenda -- fighting their competetion, indie labels. T

        • by thijsh (910751)
          That's why I cd baby [cdbaby.com], oh yeah! :)
        • by tepples (727027)

          The RIAA has radio, which never (except low watt college stations) plays indie music, while the indies have P2P.

          Indie artists can allow their work to be used in podcasts. People who want to listen to indie music instead of RIAA music can buy an MP3 player and a micropower* FM transmitter, subscribe to an indie music podcast, and sync new songs on daily.

          * FCC Part 15 or foreign counterpart

    • by xtracto (837672)

      When you make a knockoff copy of something and sell it to someone as legit, you are defrauding them

      LOL,

      The though of someone really believing that the Avatar DVD they are buying in Tepito is the "original" is really funny.

      Of course everybody knows they are not the original, the people that buy those DVDs or Games do it mainly because otherwise they won't be able to get the same "amount" of media.

      Also AFAIK (a friend of mine from Colombia and her German wife live there), in China is the same. People go to specifically buy the cheaper version knowing that it is not the "original" they sell in the standard

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The though of someone really believing that the Avatar DVD they are buying in Tepito is the "original" is really funny.

        I bought a set of Stargate SG-1 discs which are clearly counterfeit before you even try to play any discs (and some discs don't play.) I had no way to know it was counterfeit before I bought it. The retailer is now nonexistent. I live in California and bought them from someplace in the midwest. Thanks for trying to participate, though.

        • by xtracto (837672)

          Just curious, did you pay the full price? (or an amount similar to the full price)

          If you did, then yeah, I agree it sucks, but in the places I am mentioning (specifically Tepito [wikipedia.org] in Mexico City) like flea markets in the majority of Mexico, you have the option to buy the "original" DVd/Game at $400 pesos ~ $35 USD or the "clones" (they don't like you to call them "copias piratas") for $20 pesos ~ $2 USD.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Just curious, did you pay the full price? (or an amount similar to the full price)

            Yeah, the latter. I ordered it from some spot on the internet. Interestingly the cardboard inside of it is punched like a PCB. Some kind of protection/holding mat for PCB drilling? Recycled materials!

    • Except that, especially in Asia, most buyers know that they are buying a counterfeit: so there is no damage to reputation due to lower quality, and there is no evidence that the buyers would otherwise have bought the original manufacturers goods (which would be a lot ore expensive).

    • This is the kind of piracy that we need to worry about because it isn't just a matter of copyright infringement, it is a matter of fraud. When you make a knockoff copy of something and sell it to someone as legit, you are defrauding them, and you really are causing economic loss to the company who legitimately makes the product. That is a good deal different from simply copying something without permission. It is something worth trying to shut down because it is a real crime with real victims.

      I'm all for spending resources on cracking down on crimes where there are victims. I'm not so interested in spending lots of resources on victimless crimes.

      While I agree that this is certainly a more legitimate form of copyright theft I do not agree that resources should be spent combating it or that there are any real victims.

      I would consider this "the cost of doing business." If you want your copyright respected then manufacture your goods in a country that respects said copyrights, you can't have your cake and eat it too. I find that business model of:

      1. Export manufacturing to developing nation

      2. Force your own ideals of copyright on that developing na

    • by Nyder (754090)

      This is the kind of piracy that we need to worry about because it isn't just a matter of copyright infringement, it is a matter of fraud. When you make a knockoff copy of something and sell it to someone as legit, you are defrauding them, and you really are causing economic loss to the company who legitimately makes the product. That is a good deal different from simply copying something without permission. It is something worth trying to shut down because it is a real crime with real victims.

      I'm all for spending resources on cracking down on crimes where there are victims. I'm not so interested in spending lots of resources on victimless crimes.

      I have NO desire to spend money on crimes against corporations.

      They can spend the money, but leave me & my gov out of it.

  • Every kind of human rights group complain about human rights being thrown out of the window... nah, can't have stop building our iphones! (or whatever)

    So we look the other way when it comes to human rights, but when the IPAA mentions 3.5 billion dollars... stuff needs to be done!

  • The Chinese response: Oh okay, we will pay those 3.5 billion. Hell, tell you what, we pay the next decade or so in advance. 35 billion. Now lets see, where can we get some dollars. Oh yeah. Dear USA, we have 35 billion dollars in debts we would like to collect on. Could you please pay us, plus interest and late fees?

    • National debt is not like loan sharking. You do not loan money for whatever terms you like and then call it due at a convenient time. More properly, it is investing in a nation.

      So, in the case of the US you can buy treasury securities of various kinds. They vary from T-bills as short as four weeks to T-Bonds as long as 30 years. In the case of a short bill, it is sold at a discount and then pays face value. So If you bought a $1000 1 year T-bill with a 5% yearly interest, you would pay $950 for that note. A

  • We even export our piracy to China. WE INVENTED STEALING
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I hope you're going for a "funny" mod. First, copyright infringement is not stealing. Second, stealing has been around since the first caveman stole the second caveman's shiny rock.

  • Piracy isn't what it used to be in China. Things are getting cleaned up. The last time I went to the dodgy computer market, all the software which used to be in heaps of boxes was gone. This was kind of annoying as I needed the Chinese version of InDesign - ended up getting it from bittorrent instead.

    Retail piracy in general is down, way down. The government is starting to crack down. Pressure from the US government is actually useful in this regard, as it gives the government a foreign bogeyman to b

  • WTF... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert@NoSPaM.slashdot.firenzee.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @06:20AM (#32987768) Homepage

    So the chinese have saved themselves $3.5 billion, good for them...
    If copyright was enforced then 99% of those chinese people would simply never have had any of this stuff at all. They would be using locally chinese produced media, or freely available media instead. Most of these people simply couldn't afford to pay what US media companies demand.

    It does show where the US governments priorities lie tho, they are willing to lean on the chinese over copyrights but couldn't care less about human rights or the environment.

    • Re:WTF... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thijsh (910751) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @07:55AM (#32988188) Journal
      If recent history has shown anything about this subject it's that in most western nations human rights and the environment come second after corporate (copyright) interests. So that confirms your point, the political priorities lie exactly where the money is, and there is no money in human rights or the environment (except when you sell these things out).
      • Actually the whole human rights thing with China is related to corporate interests. The Chinese are able to exploit their population into damn near slave labor which draws a lot of economic progress into their country. Basically Chinese companies are getting more business than American companies and since US companies can't sink to their level of exploiting workers, they want to bring them up to their own.

        The US in general couldn't give two shits about human rights or the environment in China. We're j
    • by evilviper (135110)

      If copyright was enforced then 99% of those chinese people would simply never have had any of this stuff at all. They would be using locally chinese produced media, or freely available media instead.

      There is no "locally chinese produced media", really just very low budget TV soap operas. A side effect of rampant piracy.

      Most of these people simply couldn't afford to pay what US media companies demand.

      US media companies are very good at pricing by region. Go to Korea for your DVDs, and you'll find they're d

  • Cryptome is publishing a Chinese document detailing use of the internet in their country.
    http://cryptome.org/0001/cn-internet.htm chapter 3 " Guaranteeing Citizens Freedom Of Speech on the Internet "
    is hilarious :)
    That's an official position paper that outlines the government position.A good read.

    Really funny excerpt : The Constitution of the People's Republic of China confers on Chinese citizens the right to free speech. With their right to freedom of speech on the Internet protected by the law, they ca

  • And the U.S. will have no other choice but to officially comply.

    China holds too much of the US debt, for the US to be demanding ANYTHING.

  • ... owing to China 867.7 billions [treas.gov] in May 2010, US will need it (hmmm... think what would happen if China would start dumping US bonds just for the fun of "raising some money to pay for IP breaches").
  • Many Chinese do not even follow traffic signals! Piracy should be very low on the teaching scale. Many Chinese do not follow the rules, it is the culture, that is on reason why corruption is so bad in China. The US is just a puppet of the rich multinational corporations. So that is why it the "US" wants to enforce it law upon China. China's National government has done very good in improving the lives of many Chinese, and protecting them. The US economy is sinking fast and the US government is more worr
  • America: "Stop making bootleg stuff or we'll stop trading with you."
    China: "Okay, stop trading with us and we'll make our own stuff for ourselves. We have the factories, and now we have the know-how. All you have left is the know-how."
    America: "..."
  • Microsoft has encouraged the pirating of their software in China by publishing their position that it is better to have Chinese using pirated Windows than other operating systems. I think Windows is a dime on the street in China, and I think that price is about right considering economy of scale and the amount of time Windows has been on the market in one form or another.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

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