World / China-Africa

Call a stop to knock-off culture

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-29 07:07

The Egyptian government has protested against the building of a replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. The pride that Egyptians have in their cultural heritage is something that has been lacking among Chinese, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

The Egyptian government's complaint should be a lesson for us because the Egyptians are not only worried about the potential economic loss the Sphinx replica would cause, but also about the impact of a bad imitation on the original.

Moreover, Chinese people have to reflect upon the knock-off culture that is rampant in the country. And this is more important than the outcome of the Egyptian complaint.

With China set to further open up to the outside world, Chinese people will be more exposed to foreign cultures and could become obsessed with knock-offs if they do not shed their tendency to copy almost everything they come across.

Besides, knock-off culture is in direct conflict with international conventions and intellectual property rights (IPR) protection. Therefore, the authorities have to take immediate measures to improve Chinese people's awareness of IPR in order to end the knock-off culture.

It is not rare to see imitations and replicas of well-known architectures from across the world in China. Many local governments have even sanctioned the building of entire cities or towns imitating the originals in and outside China. In such a case, if the authorities fail to make people aware of IPR protection and halt the production and building of imitations, they will end up paying only lip service to IPR protection.

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