By John Chester at www.wildapple.com
At the beginning of 2013, I set a personal and company goal that we would find no more than 20 companies infringing our copyrights at the Canton and Jinhan Fairs in China. Since there were well over 40 companies ripping us off last October, I thought this goal might be a bit aggressive. Fighting infringers in China feels like an impossible uphill battle, and I admit to dreading these grueling excursions.
So having just returned from Guangzhou, it is with a certain amount of satisfaction that I can report that the number of exhibitors stealing Wild Apple artwork this time was 13 (a few more had art from other publishers but no Wild Apple). More significantly, the amount of artwork within any given infringer’s booth was way, way down. And the exhibitors were quick to take down offending products when confronted. A lot of progress in one year.
Don’t get me wrong – I hate that there are ANY infringements. But this is a marathon, not a sprint, and prolonged attention to copyright protection is paying off. What’s great is that our customer and artist network of copyright “informants” actively feeds us tips and leads, since they know we’re serious about going after them. It’s in all of our interests to keep the pressure on; none of us wins if others are getting the art for free.
As a Chinese dude once said, “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” We’re way past that first step, with many more to go.