Report: China's Official Olympics Website Rips Off Games

March 14, 2008 -
The video game industry has long complained that China is a nation where copyrights don't mean much.

But in what would appear to be a new low, the Chinese government's official website for the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics seems to feature online games lifted from Western creators.

As reported by Ars Technica, the IP theft was outed when developer Cadin Batrack scanned the Online Games section of the Chinese site and noticed what appeared to be an altered version of one of his designs:
According to Batrack, the Olympics' game, Fuwa Fight the Winter Clouds, looks like someone downloaded and decompiled the SWF file from his site, swapped out some of the graphics, and then published it as their own game. Since this information was unveiled, Fuwa Fight the Winter Clouds has been removed, but it appears as if a couple of other games might also be copies.

Ironically, as Ars Technica reports:
The Beijing Olympic Committee have a stern warning on its site to deter anyone from stealing any of the IP posted therein (with fines up to $7,000 or five times the "illegal income" generated by the theft), but the site was developed by Sohu. Sohu is currently being sued for allegedly promoting online piracy (by providing links to illegal file-sharing web sites)...

Comments

America is an example where IP laws go too far.

China is an example where there are almost NO IP laws whatsoever.

These countries are examples of the extremes of both arguments regarding copyright law.

America will sue your ass of if you supposedly "steal their work", even if you didn't know it and China will blatantly rip you off and there's nothing you can do about it.

@DarrelBT

Can't we at least prosecute them in the name of good taste? Their ripoff versions are fugly

China doesn't deserve the Olympics. Don't be surprised if there are mass protests about freeing Tibet during the games.

This week has been extremely interesting with the news...

Prosecuting them won't really do anything. It's better to simply ask to remove the infringements and nothing more.

Heh, Protests? During the Olympics? You must be kidding. The Chinese government will be cracking down so hard on that stuff, you'll barely be able to say you think the government doesn't pee liquid bliss and fart baby giggles without police jumping you. I think we can all look forward to a great deal of Olympic coverage being interrupted, people not able to say anything at awards, and other good ol' thought control.

Maybe, Tomdog but know this. They can keep their people from protesting, but they can't stop the rest of the world pointing out their faggotry.

Gotta love Communisim. Remember in Communist where ever, you can spend your entire life working on something ALONE, but at the end EVEYONE gets credit.

One of the harsh realities is that web games are generally easy to decompile, and ripping off Flash designs is definitely not specific to China. Unlike some computer programming techniques, this isn't too tough.

I hope some Olympian makes a biting remark about China after competing.

No comment.

I heard the government's gonna shut down all the factories in Beijing a week before the Olympics, to see if the pollution clears out.

@Sean

Which is Economic suicide..

This reminds me of what Mad magazine said when they named China getting the olympics one of the 20 dumbest things of the year

China gets the Olympics: human rights get the shaft.

(complete with tianamen square tanks donning olympic flags).

Why do we still give thme the olympics.

@Father Time

They had the best bribes for the Olympic Officials, of course.

Thank God I don't live in China. Their goverment has ruined their country.

Sorry for the double post, but per the wikipedia,

"Air pollution levels on an average day in Beijing are nearly five times above World Health Organization standards for safety. China's extremely inefficient use of coal - the country's main source of energy - results in much of the pollution. Despite promises to stage a green 2008 Summer Olympics, Bejing has had persistent air pollution - thus city officials are planning to reduce its motor traffic by half during the Games to improve air quality. In February 2008, the Chinese government announced that it would close 144 gas stations in Beijing, which amounts to about 10% of such stations in the city, to improve air quality in preparation for the Olympics."

Why the fuck are the Olympics being held there?

@Grizzam

See above comment about bribes.

LOL. thats nothing!

You should have seen the cars they "designed". 90% are "inspired" by luxury brand.

What can I say, China pirates EVERYTHING.

@ Ken

It's already happened."

I think that China is aiming for very chinese olympics by crushing human rights more than usually and by pirating all their advertising:
http://www.dannychoo.com/detail/mac/eng/image/1158/Olympic+Haruhi.html

@Judith

Dang...i am hoping that Tibet gets its wish, but i know it won't be any time soon

Anyways, we all know China says to hell with copyright...

I am cautiously optimistic that if we are gently accepting of China, and slowly allow them the privileges of being in the international community, that they will in turn, slowly reform. It's only been 30 years or so since the open door policy allowed (pretty much) free entry of foreigners, and Chinese people to move out. It sucks (to put it lightly) for these people living in the transitional stage where they kinda get shat on as China changes; but think of how Russia "changed" (there's debate on this): all at once.

It didn't really work out for them; even now, 18 years later, Russia feels the economic and social (see: Old people begging in the street) shock waves of the rather disastrous fall of the USSR.

Notice: I've visited the run-down tower blocks of Russian industrial cities and the hutongs of China; but I am not an economist!

oh ya lets patent game mechanics and only let the top 15% of companies make games...

I am sorry unless they found the orginail code in a game its nothing more than" gee we can make a game like this"..... next you will say you can CP common sense or a thought...

I have to say that allowing the chineese to host the olympics is moronic. With them ripping off products, games and anime to promote the olympics, poor air quality, human rights violations; I have to wonder what the hell the olympic officals were thinking. I think that every country should protest as china has done plenty to piss off everyone.

Wii sports games aren't the only thing that the Chinese have ripped off. They also ripped off the Wii itself. And in China, apparently, even bootlegs get their own commercials.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd1YIbO34Ns

I'm glad not to be going to the Olympics. China's pollution levels are ridiculous (don't go for a brisk walk in the morning, or your poor lungs will sufer the equivalent of smoking like five packs of cigarettes). Not to mention the amount of lead that leaves in their air, soil, water, etc.

@BlackIce

CHINA's economy will be fine (the Olympics will be there, remember). All the little people getting no money for the food they could barely afford to begin with will suffer, but if China cared about them...well, just look at their history books and what little information gets out about life there now.

China doesn't care. It's got millions more where those destitute people came from, and it will just work the survivors harder, or compensate them less (if that's possible; I'm not sure it is) to make up for any losses. Or more likely, it will subcontract to even cheaper construction locales with even fewer (again, not sure it's possible) health or standards enforcement.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!! Oh man, this article is great. So funny.

Reminds me of the Seether song in which they're like:
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOHOOOOO
You're such a fucking hypocrite!

I remember a nations, who not too long ago, adopt the same indifferent to IP. The nations was poor and at the mercy of the victor states, that it willingly copy products and technology from the victor states into their own.

Decades later the nation created some of the leading brand on electronic, cars and technology fronts. They also produce a culture that subdue a large number of children and adults all over the world.
As well as hosted the Olympics on 1964.

That nation is Japan.

Given enough time, China will grow up very well.
People aren't cutting them enough slack this time around, compare to post-WWII Japan.

That's hilarious. How could you do something like that where you know you'll get worldwide attention and think you'll not get caught. And I think China will get some additional slack when they continue to change some of their policies for the better.

Mike
 
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