Friday, July 30, 2010

Copyright Piracy in China: China Did Not Shed Its Fetish For Temporary Mass Campaigns

Blacklisting until the blacklisting goes on black again...

The National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) has started a campaign on July 21, which will last until the end of October, to blacklist websites that are found to contain pirated content.

According to IPR Focus, who run the People's Daily Online article, the action was announced jointly by the National Copyright Administration, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Read here.

It seems that in regard to intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement China did not lose its fetisch for temporary mass campaigns. We have seen these kind of campaigns over and over (see page 74 of my thesis Paper Tiger or Roaring Dragon). And the only thing that is missing is a nice poetic name.

The procedure to put the names on the website of the NCAC, so China's three telecom operators (China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile) can take them offline evokes questions. Do the websites get the chance to take down the pirated content first? What is wrong with a more durable solution to obligate websites to take down pirated content, and if they don't and the content is confirmed pirated by the NCAC, to let one of the telecom operators take the website offline.

Unsurprisingly the crack down will also focus on all content related to the Shanghai Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games. "Anyone who reports cases of infringement and piracy will get reward betwen 1,000 and 10,000 yuan." I guess the latter measure is only focused to enforce the IPR of these public events. Instead of spending the money on informers, the NCAC could enforce themselves or spend it on campaigns that should raise the awareness about IPR in general. China should know by now that there is more IPR to protect and enforce than the IPR of the Beijing Olympic Games, Shanghai World Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games.

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