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    Posted March 10, 2014 by
    Jacksonville, Arkansas

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    Mainland China Manufacturer Incurs the Wrath of the U.S. Government


    "There are governments that are working hand in hand with the black market and with organized crime."  Congressman Tim Griffin


    A mainland Chinese wall art manufacturer claiming to produce up to 30,000 copies of an American art work which they pirated and copied for sale internationally for profits in the millions of dollars has incurred the wrath of U.S. Government officials.


    According to Congressman Griffin: "Piracy is something that I have been very interested in and have been very active in trying to address."


    Griffin also states that: "Piracy is something that the Judiciary Committee was and still is grappling with. A lot of folks in the U.S. have been victims of piracy because their intellectual property is often stolen and it results in billions of dollars of lost sales. At it's core, it's theft. You can look at it from a jobs perspective, you can look at it from a property rights theft perspective, no matter how many ways you view this it is a problem, so I am engaged on the issue of piracy."


    Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas has also jumped into the IPR and Copyright cyber theft issue after discovering that the long arm of Chinese art piracy has reached it's way into a small town in Arkansas. Said Governor Beebe: "Intellectual property involves people and their ideas and their creative works, whether it's music or whether it's intellectual property from the standpoint of patents and ideas. That (IPR) is an asset that belongs to somebody and there are ways in America where you can protect your work product whatever it may be. Unfortunately there are folks around the globe and particularly there are folks in the far east who pirate that."


    "They are reproducing and selling that art without any attribution or without any permission, in China." Beebe continued. "Our federal government and the Chinese federal government have to be on the same page. They have to be fully committed to enforcing whatever law that they agree upon to exist. If they give full faith and credit to American laws in regard to intellectual property, it doesn't do any good until they are willing to take that next step and enforce that law.


    The painting that sparked the ire of Washington and Arkansas officials against the Chinese manufacturer is a work entitled "Still Life of Violin", a 24x30 oil painting by RB McGrath-2006. The image was pirated by a manufacturer in Xiamen, China (mainland) and is being advertised and sold in Asia, Australia, Portugal, Canada, France, Spain and the U.S. It is believed that the Chinese manufacturer has made as much as 1.9 million dollars from the illicit sale of counterfeit copies of McGrath's work.


    More recently Congressman Griffin flew to Arkansas and met with McGrath where he has continued his efforts on behalf of the artist.


    "Some of our long term friends are countries that enforce the rule of law, who do a pretty good job and who work with us cooperatively. Countries like Britain for example. But, there are a lot of countries, particularly the former Soviet Republics, Russia and China where intellectual property is not given the respect that it is due. In those countries where law enforcement may say one thing but do another, it's a challenge." Said Griffin. "A lot of times there are governments that are working hand in hand with the black market and with organized crime. What we have to do is utilize whatever diplomatic and economic tools that are available to us to make sure that these countries, China for example, respect our laws."


    A documentary film is now in the works by Independent Filmmaker Keith Hudson.


    Pictures: Congressman Tim Griffin (R-AR), Governor Mike Beebe (D-AR), Painting: Still Life of Violin, RB McGrath 2006. Photo's by Pham Minh and RB McGrath.

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