Copyright campaign an 'everyday' affair

By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-09 06:56

Online copyright violations are "still rampant" despite the first nationwide campaign to crack down on the activities, China's top copyright official admitted yesterday.

But Yan Xiaohong, vice-minister of the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), pledged to work more closely with both the justice and the telecommunications authorities to create "a lasting mechanism" to curb what he called a "destabilizing factor in society."

Yan told reporters at a press conference organized by the State Council Information Office that the problem is "yet to be basically corrected" even after the crackdown from September to January, in which 436 cases were uncovered and 205 websites were closed.

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Now, a follow-up campaign codenamed "Everyday Action" is being waged to root out existing online violators, Yan said.

For websites which continue to flout rules by adopting new domain names, the intellectual property rights (IPR) administration will work with the public security forces to take the operators to the criminal court, he said.

And as for those who ignore warnings and penalties and continue to provide illegal services without changing domain names, IPR officials will ask the telecommunication authorities to shut down access to the virtual public, he said.

A nationwide blacklisting system of illegal websites and operators will be established, he added.

Plaintiffs who are not satisfied with the financial penalties imposed on violators by Chinese IPR administrations thought to be too low by some overseas copyright holders can appeal for reviews, he said.

NCAC officials told China Daily after the press conference that:

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More than 400 cases constitute a big catch in the four-month crackdown on online infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR) . But the fight against online piracy is far from over.

the country is developing a digital copyright policing platform to process all information about copyright violations.

a reward system will be in place this year for individuals who report copyright violations.

State-owned enterprises and government offices are required to set a good example by using only authentic computer software.

More laws and regulations will be drawn up, with China joining more IPR-related international conventions.

Copyright holders will be encouraged to set up autonomous associations to defend their interests.

Protecting copyrights in a country with 140 million Internet users and close to 850,000 websites requires a lasting commitment, Yan said.

But the NCAC will not allow the problem to disrupt social harmony and tarnish its international image, the official said, while promising closer cooperation with foreign governments and businesses in IPR protection.

(China Daily 02/09/2007 page1)

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