Piracy and the State: The Politics of Intellectual Property Rights in China

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China has the highest levels of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting in the world, even though it also provides the highest per capita volume of enforcement. In this original study of intellectual property rights (IPR) in relation to state capacity, Dimitrov analyzes this puzzle by offering the first systematic analysis of all IPR enforcement avenues in China, across all IPR subtypes. He shows that the extremely high volume of enforcement provided for copyrights and trademarks is unfortunately of a low quality, and as such serves only to perpetuate IPR violations. In the area of patents, however, he finds a low volume of high-quality enforcement. In light of these findings, the book develops a theory of state capacity that conceptualizes the Chinese state as simultaneously weak and strong. It also demonstrates that fully rationalized enforcement of domestic and foreign IPR is emerging unevenly and, somewhat counter-intuitively, chiefly in those IPR subtypes that are least subject to domestic or foreign pressure. The book draws on extensive fieldwork in China and five other countries, as well as on 10 unique IPR enforcement datasets that exploit previously unexplored sources, including case files of private investigation firms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Through an exhaustive study of the many overlapping enforcement agencies, Dimitrov characterizes China’s enforcement of intellectual property rights as high in volume but low in quality, because it lacks transparency, consistency, and fairness.”
-Andrew J. Nathan, Foreign Affairs

“Piracy and the State is an extraordinary book. Based on unprecedented empirical work, this richly learned volume breaks vital new ground in our understanding of intellectual property protection in China. In so doing, it offers real insight into the nature of the Chinese state in general and into the ways in which respect for legal institutions does (and does not) develop. Martin Dimitrov deserves much praise for this impressive work.”
-William Alford, Harvard Law School

“Piracy and the State is an important study of China’s government in action. Its analysis of the varied challenges of protecting different intellectual property rights will be of great interest not only to social scientists, legal scholars and China-watchers but also to the business and diplomatic communities, international lawyers and surely to Chinese administrators and policy-makers themselves. Dimitrov’s nuanced insights and recommendations are based on both stimulating comparisons with other countries and in-depth empirical research. Many of us will be feasting on this major contribution for a long time.”
-Jerome A. Cohen, Co-Director, US-Asia Law Institute, New York University

“Piracy and the State is a significant empirical contribution to our understanding of intellectual property rights protection—an intrinsically important topic for scholars, policy makers, and the business community. Dimitrov comprehensively investigates administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement of IPR law in mainland China across the categories of copyright, trademarks, and patents. Moreover, with original field research across six countries to place the Chinese case in context and drawing on a wealth of fascinating new evidence, Dimitrov develops and substantiates a novel theoretical argument that explains the unevenness of predictable, rationalized IPR enforcement in mainland China. In so doing, he contributes to the broader debate about emergence of rule of law under Chinese authoritarianism.”
-Melanie Frances Manion, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107404342
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 326
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Dimitrov is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. He has also been a post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard University, in the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and in the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He received his B.A. in government and French from Franklin and Marshall College and his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2004. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Democracy, Current History, and Twenty-First Century (Ershiyi shiji). He is currently working on a book-length study of the collapse and resilience of communist regimes.

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Table of Contents

List of tables; List of figures and GIS maps; Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Part I. Introduction: 1. Intellectual property and the state; Appendix: sources and methods; 2. Regulating the quality of enforcement; Part II. The Organization of the State: IPR Enforcement Options: 3. Customs: centralization without rationalization; 4. Courts: the emergence of rationalization; 5. Administrative enforcement: the complex state; 6. Criminal enforcement: the failure of coordination; Part III. The State in Action: The Politics of IPR Enforcement in China: 7. Trademarks: capricious enforcement; 8. Copyrights: beyond campaign-style enforcement; 9. Patents: creating rationalized enforcement; Part IV. Conclusion: 10. State capacity and IPR; Glossary of selected Chinese terms; Index.

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