China vows effective fight against internet piracy

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Under criticism from its Western trading partners, China is working toward an effective resolution of issues regarding illegal downloading of movies and videos protected by copyright law. Reports state that 205 websites were closed recently because of their illegal Internet activity.

Chinese officials state that in the period between September and January they have investigated 436 cases of Internet piracy and ordered 361 Internet offenders to stop infringement of the copyright law. Overseas organizations requested investigation of 130 cases.

Yan Xiaohong, who is currently the deputy director of the National Copyright Association, mentioned at a news conference that Internet piracy in China caused serious damage to the interests of the copyright owners. This, he says, leads to a number of disputes, which, in their turn lead to disruption of the orderly functioning of the Internet.

Most of the investigated cases involved sites that offered a free download of software, movies, music and textbooks. The main reasons why Chinese people actively download pirated works are the high prices on authorized copies and restrictions on cultural imports set by the Chinese government.

According to the numbers provided by Chinese officials, China has around 843,000 websites and 140 million users, which means that China is the second largest Internet market in the world. Mr. Yan Xiaohong outlined the fact that due to the quick pace of China's development, it may take some time to effectively fight Internet piracy.