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June 17, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), which is looking into the effects of Chinese piracy on the motion picture industry, heard from a Harvard Business School professor Tuesday who called the industry’s claims about billion-dollar losses due to piracy “a bit crazy.” As reported by PC World magazine, C. Fritz Foley, who is also associate editor of the Journal of International Economics, told the panel: “Be careful about using information the multinational [media companies] provide you. I would imagine they have an incentive to make the losses seem very, very large.” He suggested that there is little or no evidence to suggest that a person who buys a pirated disc at a very low price would pay six or ten times that amount for a legitimate copy. Peter Yu, director of the Intellectual Property Law Center at Drake University Law School, told the commission that the U.S. may actually benefit indirectly from Chinese piracy, since some U.S. companies sell the material used by counterfeiters and some pirated movies may spread democratic ideals in the country. (Yu has previously pointed out that if only original copies of U.S. movies were available in China, they would be heavily censored by authorities, and many movies would not be permitted to be released there at all.)