Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What's the score on the online anti-piracy campaign?

The article 'online piracy campaign succes' written by Liu Li for ChinaDaily of course covered on the contrary measures against online piracy. The article is a list of the campaign since September by some Chinese departments including the administration, Ministry of Public Security, the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the Ministry of Information Industry.

Two concrete cases were highlighted:

"The campaign uncovered a website, www.66woool.com (offline), created by Lu Xiaoliang and Chen Liang in Central China's Hubei Province that provided illegal services on a game developed by Shanda Interactive Entertainment, China's biggest online game operator (from Shanghai).
The Jingzhou Municipal Bureau of Copyright in Hubei Province transferred the case to local police in December last year to ascertain the suspects' punishment."


"A movie website, www.116.com.cn , was also fined 90,000 yuan (US$11,100) and was ordered to stop providing download services for some US movies without permission.
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Copyright made the decision, sources said."

116.com.cn is China Netcom's broadband portal. Huaxia Times said not that is was fined by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Copyright but by National China's Copyright Administration for copyright infringment. "Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) claimed that 116.com.cn provided online viewing and downloading of movies whose copyrights are owned by MPAA-member companies without the permission of the MPAA. China's National Copyright Administration announced on February 15 that it has investigated and punished 12 copyright infringement cases recently." Source: Pacific Epoch

It's hard to figure out why the pirates that infringed the rights from the Shanghai based game producer had to be criminally prosecuted, while the pirates that infringed the rights from US film producers were only fined and stopped in their illegal activity. The conclusion that the foreign movie makers were discriminated,. is too simple given the lack of the facts about variables such as scope of damage etc.

According to Zhao Xiuling, director of the copyright department of the administration, most websites in the campaign provide download services to music products, movies and software.

What's the score?

  • 76 websites were closed down across the country, according to sources within the administration;
  • 137 websites were ordered to remove illegal content;
  • 29 websites were fined a total of 789,000 yuan (US$97,000);
  • 18 criminal offence cases have been handed over to police for investigation, according to sources with the National Copyright Administration of China.

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