Raised in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Ho Simon Wang received his undergraduate education from Washington University in Saint Louis, USA and a Master degree in education from Oxford University, UK. He is currently living in Wuhan, China working as an English language teacher at Huazhong University of Science and Technology while pursuing a PhD degree in intellectual property rights at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.
It is amazing how the Internet makes it possible for people to connect with one another in ways that were not possible a decade ago. Jennifer Howard published an article "What you don't know about copyright and should" in The Chronicle of Higher Education in May 2011. As a research student on copyright from China, I was naturally drawn to this piece and quickly added a comment suggesting that any introduction to copyright would be considered incomplete without a few words on the free culture movement such as Open Source Software and Creative Commons. My opinion was echoed by Mr. Karl Fogel at QuestionCopyright.org, who later invited me to write about "how people feel about copyright in China, especially focusing on the general public's attitude toward copying and sharing and attribution" for QuestionCopyright.org. This article is a result of that fortuitous interaction between Karl and me, which would have been unthinkable if access to Ms. Howard's article were restricted by copyright. This anecdote illustrates the first point I want to make about copyright in general: the copyright regime restricts the distribution of creative works and stifles the conversation that creative works may generate. The Internet has emerged as an antidote to this restriction, as Karl and I could read and discuss Ms. Howard's article online and work together for new articles on the same topic.