When Is Copying Filling A Market Need?

Digital watch had a great post this week about IPR and software  but the most interesting thing is to view the article blogger Kaiser Kou linked to. The blog is written by two Chinese who track the evolving web applications industry in Beijing. They think it’s positive that someone has launched a Chinese-version project management software even if it’s a copy of Basecamp. But the comments posted in response to their article seem to go the opposite way.

This really brings up the idea of how Chinese people view IPR, as Kaiser states in his original article, it’s not really viewed by the Chinese web community as theft more like they are filling an existing need in the Chinese community. And they are, but instead of mentioning this need to Basecamp’s development team, developers took the task on themselves and have made a little bit of money in the process. That view can be taken as a view of a lot of IPR issues in Chinese, yes a lot of people are out to make a quick buck by copying something that is already really successful in another market. But there is also a small portion that see there is something missing in the Chinese market and think that they can better meet the need than the small, medium or large-sized corporation that design the original product.

I’m not a fan of IPR infringement so I don’t want this to sound like a defense of IPR infringement, it’s just an observation.

J.

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