Thursday, 8 February 2007

Website Pirates Crackdown

China moves to quell concerns over pircay.

China shuts 205 Web sites in crackdown on piracy
BEIJING - China, often criticised by the West for failing to tackle rampant illegal downloading of music and films, said on Thursday it had closed 205 Web sites in a crackdown on Internet piracy.

Officials said that between the end of September and January they had investigated 436 cases, including about 130 at the request of overseas industry associations, and ordered 361 offenders to stop their infringements.

"Piracy of intellectual property on the Internet has seriously harmed the interests of copyright owners, leading to a large number of disputes -- and thus disrupting the orderliness of the Internet," Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told a news conference.

Yan said that in the latest action, authorities had imposed fines totaling 705,000 yuan ($91,000), confiscated 71 servers and transferred six cases to courts for prosecution. One of those had led to a conviction, he said.

Prominent cases included sites that offered downloads of software, textbooks, music and television shows. In one case, all the Internet cafes in Changchun, in the country's northeast, were found to be linked into a database of pirated films.

Official figures show China now has about 843,000 Web sites and 140 million Internet users, making it the world's second largest Internet market.

Yan declined to estimate how many of those sites contained pirated material, but called for understanding from China's trade partners that it was working in earnest to address the issue.

"With the Internet developing so quickly, I'm afraid that in China, as elsewhere, it's going to take some time before we can effectively manage it," he said.


ipdragon said...

Hi Rob,

Interesting blog you have.

China is no stranger to mass campaigns. However, whether these are effective is the question, since they are temporary and top-down.

Since you are interested in WTO, I blog regularly (and write my thesis about whether China's IPR laws comply to WTO's TRIPs) about an eventuel WTO case against China, because of inadequate IPR protection and enforcement.

IP Dragon
Gathering, commenting and sharing information about IP in China to make it more transparent, since 2005

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment ipdragon. I am also impressed you managed to stumble upon this blog so early - I would call the current position a very soft launch.

IP is something I am interested in and will try to cover in some detail. As you will know there is also a significant academic debate surrounding IP, patents and the role of China.