The cultural side of piracy in China

April 2, 2013

The more I learn about China, the more I realize that most of what happens in China has everything to do with cultural differences and little to do with the Communist Party.

In 2008, Lisa Wang wrote a post for China Law and Practice.com of Searching for Liability: Online Copyright Infringement in China.

Lisa Wang said, “The digital copying of music, images, and video, and their distribution over the internet (in China) can provide hours of entertainment for the general public and multiple migraines for rights holders.”

Many in the West that read this may think infringement of copyright in China is done to make money by selling fake copies but—while somewhat true—that isn’t always the case.

The Economist of December 4 published a piece of how difficult it was to make a profit in the toughest recorded-music market in the world, which is China.

It seems that many Chinese will not pay to download music on the Internet.

Instead, people download music free from a number of sites where other Chinese have made the music available.

In the November 20 issue of The Economist, I discovered that despite government censorship, many in China are downloading pirated video online and watching the latest movie releases and television shows from America.

In fact, pirated television on-line is so widespread, Wentworth Miller, who is best-known for his role in the Fox television show Prison Break, was mobbed by his fans when he visited China.

However, Prison Break is not officially broadcast by Chinese television stations.

If censors block a foreign TV show or movie, the Chinese may often watch pirated DVDs or go on-line to watch pirated versions for free.

I know an American expatriate living in China that watches the latest American movies free a few days after they hit the theaters in America, and he watches on-line.

The Chinese have a reputation for being frugal and saving money and this may be another way to achieve that goal by cooperatively helping each other read books and watch movies for free.

After all, China is a collective culture.

Discover how Harlequin Romance Invaded China

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Scapegoating China and Manipulating the Opinions of Americans – Part 4/4

November 8, 2012

In conclusion, how many ignorant adult voters are there in America that a presidential candidate can fool to gain votes? I think the answer may be found from the number of adult Americans that do not read books and watch too much reality TV.

According to Mental Floss, Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix, in the United States:

1. One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

2. Forty-Two percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

3. Eighty percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

4. Seventy percent of U.S., adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

5. Children who watch four or more hours of TV per day spend less time on school work, have poorer reading skills, play less with friends, and have fewer hobbies than children who watch less TV. Source for #5: Reading.org

However, according to A. C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day, and the number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes. Source: csun.edu

No matter what we hear from an American politician running for election, the Bureau of Labor Statistics proves that education/literacy pays, because the unemployment rate for adult Americans with less than a high school diploma is 14.1% (medium weekly earnings in 2011 was $451) while unemployment for workers with a college BA degree is 4.9% (medium weekly earnings in 2011 was $1,053).

In fact, about 39% of voters ages 18 and older that do not have a high school degree vote, while 77% of college graduates vote. In addition, you may suspect that low-income voters would vote Democratic, but the top sixteen states with very high or high level of persons living below poverty (43% of adults with low literacy skills live in poverty), twelve  of these states vote solidly Republican. Source: Election 2012 Factors: Poverty Level Households by State

Answer this question: If you cannot read or understand what you read, where do you get information to help decide how to vote or what to think about China?

A. talk radio (dominated by conservative talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh)

B. television

C. reading informative Blogs such as this one

D. reading newspaper, books, and magazines to become better informed

E. other sources – for example, the barber shop or a bar

I think that Abraham Lincoln should have also said, “It is easier to fool someone that is uneducated and does not read than someone that is educated and reads.”

Note: If you want to learn about the impact of watching too much TV, I suggest you read TV Turns Kids Into Zombies, Retards Development, and eventually, these children grow up to be adults that vote.

Return to Scapegoating China … Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Wanted in China – “an education” – Part 4/5

September 11, 2011

NPR explored, Are U.S. Schools Really Falling Behind China?

To answer this question, Michele Norris was the host for National Public Radio when she interviewed Vivien Stewart, the Asia Society Senior Adviser for Education, who argued that the US “has reason to be worried”.

Steward said, “I talk to (American) parents about turning off the television, turning off the video games, and if their students spent as much time studying as they did playing video games, we’d easily be at the level of the highest performing countries in the world.”

“China has very high standards,” Stewart says, “largely focused on math and science, a strong core curriculum that all students have to take. In the U.S., we have standards that vary all over the place, by state and by district. Students can opt out of harder courses.”

Aaron Brown opens the third segment of this PBS: Wide Angle documentary on high school education in China with the words of Jiacheng, a student that says, “If I didn’t study hard these last few years, I’d probably be working in a factory earning very little and I would be exhausted.”

If you have forgotten, it was in Part Three that we discovered Jiacheng had won/earned a silver medal in the national mathematic Olympiad and was accepted to one of China’s most prestigious universities considered equal the Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford or Caltech.

Moreover, this is the way life should be.   Those who work hardest and achieve the most should earn the highest rewards.

Jiacheng’s mother simply explains how this happened. “His teacher told him what to do. He told him what to study.”  The rest was up to Jiacheng.  The teacher could not do the studying and learning for him as many American students and critics of public education expect of public school teachers in the United States.

Let’s not forget that we have learned that high school students in China often study 16 hours a day while the average US student divides more than 10 hours a day between watching TV, listening to music, hanging out at the mall socializing, spending time social networking on Internet Sites such as Facebook, playing video games, and sending meaningless text messages.

In this segment, Aaron Brown emphasizes the importance of China’s national exam taken near the end of senior high school at age 18.  The results of this exam will decide who attends college and who ends up working as a common low paid laborer.

Continued on September 12, 2011 in  Wanted in China – “an education” – Part 5 return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Wanted in China – “an education” – Part 1/5

September 8, 2011

With more than 120 million students in its public schools, China may one day be willing to hire millions of American public school teachers to move to China and teach willing Chinese students.

In fact, if this were to happen, millions of American students that have no respect of teachers or education would celebrate after spending the average 10 hours a day dividing time between playing video games, watching TV, social networking on sites such as Facebook and sending endless and meaningless text messages.

In addition, conservative critics of US public education would get what they want—an end to public education in the US and a chance to brainwash America’s children with conservative political values.

Elizabeth Pope writing for the AARP BULLETIN (May 2011) reported that “China Seeks American Teachers.”


An American Teaching in China

Pope says, “Got teaching experience and a taste for adventure? China is calling. The just-launched Teacher Ambassador Program is recruiting retired, laid-off or currently employed teachers ages 21 to 65 to teach English-speaking high school students in China starting in September.”

“China is hungry for American teachers to help prepare their students to attend college in the United States,” says Deborah J. Stipek, School of Education dean at Stanford University and an Ameson Foundation advisory board member. She adds that some Chinese also believe that Americans can assist students in becoming more innovative and critical thinkers.

However, before you seek a teaching position in China, you may want to learn more about expectations in China’s public education system.

Continued on September 9, 2011 in Wanted in China – “an eduction” – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3/3

June 13, 2011

As you may have learned in Part One and Two, Old-World parenting was an improvement over the way children grew up before the 18th century and the Chinese may have learned this parenting method from the invading Western nations after The Opium Wars.

However, parenting methods developed further and by the 1960s, according to research, the best method of parenting is not Authoritarian but Authoritative, which is characterized by moderate demands with moderate responsiveness.

The authoritative parent is firm but not rigid, willing to make an exception when the situation warrants. The authoritative parent is responsive to the child’s needs but not indulgent. Baumrind makes it clear that she favors the authoritative style.

The worst parenting style represents what studies show are the “average” child and parent in the United States today.  These parents are Permissive, Uninvolved or a combination of both.

Since the “average” parent in the US today talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and the “average” child spends more than 10 hours a day dividing his or her time between watching TV, playing video games, listening to music, social networking on sites such as Facebook, or sending hundreds of text messages monthly, it is obvious what the results are. Source: Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Since the Permissive and/or Uninvolved parent has few requirements for mature behavior, children may lack skills in social settings. While they may be good at interpersonal communication, they lack other important skills such as sharing. The child may also fear becoming dependent on other people, are often emotionally withdrawn, tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence, feels fear and anxiety or stress due to lack of family support and had an increased risk of substance abuse.

Return to A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2 or start with Part One.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of “The Concubine Saga”, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Education Chinese Style – Part 6

February 11, 2010

Guess who taught me to read—my mother. When I was seven, education experts said I would never read. My mother didn’t blame them. She blamed herself and went to work to fix the problem. She told me she came home from that meeting and cried. Then she got out the coat hanger.

No matter how much I complained, I learned to read at home. Today, many American parents don’t spend enough time with their children.

Inside a Shanghai Bookstore

In America, many kids don’t like to read. To get the students I taught to read for half-an-hour a day was like pulling teeth with oily fingers. Instead, they watch television or spend hours on the Internet or hang out with friends after school.

The largest bookstore in Shanghai, China, is several stories tall with elevators and escalators. You have to wait in line to reach another floor. The bookstores I visit in Shanghai when I’m there are always crowded. On the other hand, in the United States bookstores are going out of business as if a book plague struck. In China, new ones are opening all the time.

  See Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart.