We're hearing a lot of news about China trying to steal intellectual property from companies like Google. There's a lot of sanctimonious news coverage about how we have innovative companies and China is trying to steal their way out of having to do the work.
Then one of these "innovative" companies was named. Microsoft. Then it occurred to me where the objection really comes from. Microsoft has never done an innovative thing, ever, except invent OLE. And you can thank that for your virus problems. But they do buy lots and lots of other companies that have innovated. So, in the US, the currency of our society is just that, currency. The dollar rules all. In China, political power is the currency. So, Microsoft spends one type of currency to get access to other people's creativity because they are out of ideas. And China spends another type of currency to get access to other people's creativity because they are out of ideas. They are different, but there are similarities.
We lose a lot of IP because we manufacture in China. We manufacture there because they have weak worker protection laws, no environmental regulations and, basically, business can do what it wants. There is a basic lack of civic law. Want to make cheap plastic crap and dump the waste in the river? Rock and roll! But then our stuff gets stolen. CDs get pirated, designs get copied. Why? Perhaps it is because there is a basic lack of civic law. But isn't that why we want to manufacture there in the first place? And then, do we get to complain about it as well?
People who are really being creative know their work cannot be outsourced. Companies trying to milk a fifty-year old file of patents have reason to be upset. It just does not bother me.