EPISODE

The Story of Intellectual Property: How China’s Tea Trade Was Stolen

KZSU Shows Logo   HEARSAY CULTURE RADIO
Episode 130
January 18, 2011
00:54:25
The Future of Bitcoin

Hosted by Dave Levine

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In her book, For All the Tea in China, Sarah Rose recounts one of the most massive trade secret thefts in history. In the nineteenth century, the British East India Company tasked Scottish botanist Robert Fortune with stealing tea from China and bringing it back to India. The act of smuggling tea out of China constitutes intellectual property theft—and also helped make tea a British staple.

Dave, an internationally recognized leader in trade secret law, explored this early example of trade secret theft with guest Sarah Rose. When is theft socially beneficial, and when is it just criminal? Listen to this surprising conversation between Sarah and Dave to understand how theft can alter societies.

“The tea trade was entirely central to the British economy, so you have this incredibly cheap botanical product out of China, by the time it gets to England it’s incredibly valuable . . . this one trade, in a drink, paid for 10% of England’s economy.” – Sarah Rose

“Good artists copy; great artists steal.” ― Pablo Picasso

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The Story of Intellectual Property: How China’s Tea Trade Was Stolen
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ABOUT THE GUEST

Sarah Rose

Journalist and Best-Selling Author
Sarah Rose is a journalist and best-selling author. She is known for her books, For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History and D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis and Helped Win World War II.
Dave Golumbia - Guest
Dave Levine

HOST BIO

DAVID LEVINE

Dave Levine is the founder and host of Hearsay Culture. He is a Professor at Elon University School of Law and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society (Stanford Law School). From 2014-2017, he was a Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is also the co-author of Information Law, Governance, and Cybersecurity (West 2019). A regular contributor to Slate, Dave has been published in leading newspapers, websites, and academic journals in the US and EU.

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