...Then there's every anime
fan's favorite Gray Area in the Copyright Laws: Taiwan
the Republic of China
. Taiwan is most famous for its bootleg DVD
's, which you've probably seen being hawked on the street or on eBay
. Thanks to the mechanisms of international commerce
, it's easy to buy stuff that's "Made in Taiwan
," even if that stuff happens to violate intellectual property
"How?" you ask. Take a seat, kimosabe.
Nobody can agree on whether Taiwan is a part of the PRC or not. Until the 1970's, the general assumption in the West was that the PRC wasn't legitimate. "Dick" Nixon changed all that by cutting off American recognition of the ROC's legitimacy, and opening up relations with Beijing, leaving Taipei with a simple commercial relations office.
Even nowadays, no government is allowed to recognize Little China without pissing Big China off. That includes the USA and Japan, the biggest entertainment producers in the world, and also two of the PRC's biggest trade partners. Since they can't formally recognize the Taiwanese government, they have to turn a blind eye when copies of Lord of the Rings and Spirited Away show up in Los Angeles with Mandarin subtitles.
After all, what are their options?
Now, while this practice is pretty much limited to Taiwan, there's no reason that another country with iffy relations to the West couldn't take it up. Couldn't copyright infringement save the North Koreans from starvation, and get some lights for that big concrete shell of theirs? Is this the economic savior that could bring modernization to Bhutan? How about the Conch Republic...?