Protecting Copyrights

Bruce Stokes of the Council on Foreign Relations made some surprising errors in his commentary about how China ignores U.S. copyright (Opinion, May 26). For example, he states that some movies are available on videocassette in China before they appear on the screen. How? To accomplish this would take a huge conspiracy involving post-production supervisors, processing labs and literally hundreds of technicians. Not likely! What I believe he meant to say was that movies on video often appear in China before the U.S.

Regarding the short shrift he gave writers, composers, producers and directors, I can assure you nobody stands for copyrighted property being pirated. The solution is relatively simple: When the deal for the exploitation of a script or composition is made, China and other known copyright violators are excluded from distribution.

I am appalled at the way Stokes blithely dismisses the value of copyright. To a writer, composer or artist this is akin to blasphemy. After all, if we don’t own the product of our minds, then the public may as well give up on entertainment and spend their time watching three-hour speeches (in Chinese, of course).




Barrett is a writer-director with 26 video releases currently on the market.