Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on July 12, 2007
Anyone worried about whether China’s IPR pirates will ever change their ways, take heart from the tale of the little website China Expat and the battle that it has been waging with the Confucius Institute. As I wrote the other day on the Asiatech blog, Josh Gartner, the American who runs the Beijing-based website, was up in arms because the Institute was allegedly stealing China Expat content. When I contacted the Confucians, a woman told me that they were looking into the issue.
And they actually did. Give the Institute credit: Shortly after Gartner went public with his gripes, they took down the unauthorized China Expat content on their site. They also sent him an apology. They even sent me one, too, although the Institute hadn’t taken any of my work. Here’s the email I received this morning:
“We are extremely sorry for our infelicitous act. We have offered China Expat a frank apology for the use of China Expat’s articles without their permission. We have now removed all of the articles that you cited from our webpage. The Confucius Institute Online website is still in its testing phase. At this stage of its development we regret any mistakes that we have made. We have disciplined all staff involved with the mistakenly used content. The person who was primarily responsible for mistakenly using your articles is no longer working with us. Please accept our sincere apologies.”
China Expat’s Gartner tells me that he is pleased with the outcome. “We have fully accepted their apology and explanation,” he emails.