4.10.2013

Alibaba and the Copyright Pirates

In one of the most successful entrepreneurs in China, Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Jack Ma is trained in coordination with A-listers. Alibaba Founder billionaire friends movie star Jet Li. Former President Bill Clinton, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz, and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is one of the big names he's interested Alifest, the annual September celebration of all things Alibaba its corporate headquarters headquarters in eastern China Hangzhou city. Unfortunately for Ma, the Obama administration is not as star-struck, lumping the company with a bad crowd Pirates of suspected copyright annual list of "famous market" that allows the theft of American intellectual owned the government says. Last year, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative took the business-to-business marketplace Ma, Alibaba.com, from a list of names and shame but still Taobao Marketplace, an online mall Ma, the. Not hard to find a knock-off products on the site. Even before the iPhone 5 will be sold in China, Taobao prospective buyers can find cheap doll version (AAPL) new Apple phone, complete with company logo back.For Ma, Taobao reputation is more than embarrassment. Violations in China foreign ownership of trademark and copyright is one of the most recurrent problem in the country business relationship with the U.S. and other countries, and often Ma got an earful from Chinese officials. Getting Taobao, China largest e-commerce, from the list of shame is a major priority. Combating piracy is "not only for the country, it is for our company," Ma said in an interview in June. "If we do not this product is fake, Taobao destroy it." To help solve the problem, Ma and his deputy would be James Mendenhall, a lawyer in Washington that the USTR general counsel for George W. Bush. and now advisor to Sidley Austin, the Chicago law firm where Barack and Michelle Obama worked as a young associate. Alibaba keep Mendenhall company earlier this year to work with U.S. trade associations and corporations worry about piracy on Taobao. While there is hope to solve their problems, Mendenhall also stressed the need for patience. Ma and his team "has a large number of trading on their platform," he said. "They are trying to come to grips with it." Last year, Alibaba has also hired Duberstein Group, a walk firmly established by President Ronald Reagan's chief of staff, Kenneth Duberstein. Since the maintenance Sidley, the company has made several dozen meetings with U.S. government officials, trade organizations, and companies. "It became clear to us that we need to do a little listening," Alibaba spokesman John Spelich, said the conversation focused on improving cooperation between Taobao and security officials in the U.S. brand marketers. Mendenhall "to tell us, look, these are the things you should think about starting to do," said Spelich. On 6 September, Taobao signed a tentative agreement with the trade unions representing Hollywood studio. According to the agreement, Alibaba will require all merchants that sell video online Taobao Mall government issued license, the two sides agreed on measures to make it easier and faster to take offline offenders. On 14 September, the Motion Picture Association of America sends a report USTR (due to the known list come the market this year in December) praised the "significant progress" Alibaba and added, "We are optimistic good that Taobao will continue to take steps necessary "to meet the piracy. The company got a boost again on 20 September when the International Coalition anticounterfeiting, a Washington-based trade group with members in apparel, automotive, consumer goods, entertainment and pharmaceutical industries, among others, also announced that it has reached an agreement with Taobao and other online platforms of China, DHgate. The company has agreed to cooperate with the take-down procedure for pirated products. While Mendenhall is hoping Taobao is not in the list USTR in December, Alibaba said if there are more problems to solve. One of the current priorities is to reduce the amount of time needed for alibaba to investigate the alleged offender after receiving a complaint. "It is still in the process," he said. Bottom line: Washington Attorney for Alibaba Group Jack Ma listening to the complaints but said changes will take time.

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