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A Chinese opera singer's view on piracy

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Feb 2006 14:06 User comments (2)

A Chinese opera singer's view on piracy Fan Jingma, a Chinese opera singer, is one artist who has seen piracy from all angles in his time. He explains that as he is ready to release his first CD with a major record label, he has mixed feelings about piracy. "I don't like it, but I'm not worried about it," he said. He sees the spread of cheap pirate copies of movies and music and other works in China as good also, as it gives exposure. Fan himself, has bought many pirated goods in the past, and even pirated his own music for money to eat.
He lived in Europe and the United States for 15 years before moving back to China. When he returned he had a new release DVD with him called "The Great Singers of the Century," that he bought in Paris. When he showed it to his friends, they all told him they had seen it a long time ago. This new release had been available in China for just a fraction of what he paid for it.

"They said, 'Oh, we had that a long time ago,'" Fan recalled. "They showed me a whole wall of CDs. My jaw dropped. For me, an American citizen, I can only dream about it." He immediately went out and bought about 80 pirated DVDs for about $100 - "what I have missed and could never afford to watch," he said. He then spent a week as a couch potato. "It's such an indulgence but such a wonderful feeling," he said.

At a recent concert he was approached by a street pirate who asked when his new CD was going to be released, and he offered to sell pirated copies of it. "He said it with such sincerity," Fan recalled. "Obviously he thinks he is trying to help me. Can you imagine if this was in the USA?" Fan admitted that during a difficult time, he found an old cassette of recordings he made before, pirated them and sold them. He sold over 3,000 CDs at a concert in total. "I sold myself for bread," he said.

Fan went on to explain that he believes the spread of very cheap pirated goods in China has benefited young directors, musicians and artists. He said they have learned a lot about Western music and ideas without having the leave the country. "If [authentic] software costs $1,000, they can't even buy it with a whole year's salary," he said. "But for less than $1 an opera, they can afford to see what's going on right now."

It's good to read what a Chinese artist thinks about the rampant street piracy in China.

The Seattle Times

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2 user comments

115.2.2006 0:18

And, thus, was born a future vision of the world. Where the only place left on the planet where you can make a copy of what you own, because you can buy a copy of what you DON'T and that means that the tools and the act of copying isn't illegal or enforced if it is, is China. Thus, everyone moves to China. No more countries or continents. The entire planet will simply be called China. To make things easier, though, eventually, China will be divided into easily remembered Regions: China R1, China R2, China R3, etc. with the convenient shortcuts of just CR1, CR2, CR3. Equally as amusing (And, I know some people won't see that was satire. :>) is this: I love how the guy openly admits he bought pirated copies of music and movies, and even sold his own copies of his music on released CD's illegal. Yet, the RIAA and MPAA won't go after this guy. But, just try to insert that Sony Music CD you have with a rootkit on it and you can open your PC up to anyone out there who may try to get into it. Unbelievable.

217.2.2006 21:34

gets right to the point about needed pitacy. in many so called third world countries most people cannot afford original dvd or good on the rich people, stop these people from some little enjoyment in their life. by all means stop people pirating and selling for big profits in the western world. when u buy a dvd copy for US$2 there are not big profits per disc and everyone knows they are copy. but when the westerners sell them for originals.that is what the RIAA or whoever should be chasing. stopping the pirates in the poorer countries will hardly sell an extra dvd original or put an extra bum in a theatre. Take malaysia man earns 500ringitt a month to get to a movie with his wife 50 the least. wake up yanks and give the rest of the world a go

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