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China is struggling amidst a deluge of pirated material

China insists that despite recent decisions, like its move to ban all U.S. movie imports, it remains firmly against piracy of copyrighted material. 

China's top officials say that the increased internet usage, not an intentionally lax legal atmosphere, are responsible for making the country likely the world's largest nation in terms of not only population but also pirated copyrighted materials.  These same officials suggest the adoption of harsher punishments to discourage pirates.

Yan Xiaohong, deputy head of the National Copyright Administration, says cases in 2007 of piracy of copyrighted material more than doubled by government statistics due to an explosion of new technology and usage.  This made for difficulties in regulating internet traffic.  He acknowledged at a press conference that preliminary punishment methods had failed to strike a decisive blow, stating, "Although our rectification campaigns have had obvious initial results, we must clearly recognise that there has been no sea change for the better in our nation's Internet copyright protection environment."

He stated that he firmly believes harsher financial penalties and harsher sentences need to be developed.  He states, "
As the situation is so serious we ought to give out heavier fines under the legal framework."

With 210 million internet users, China was second only to the U.S. in online population in 2007.  China's Xinhua news agency quoted industry sources stating that the nation will likely become the largest online population early in 2008.

Despite suffering from severe piracy, China does do a remarkable job regulating websites it feels inspire dissent.  A "Great Red Firewall" blocks users from such sites and alerts authorities of access attempts.  China plans to keep these efforts in place.

"We will put whatever police forces are needed into this," Deputy head of the Public Security Bureau's economic crimes division Gao Feng said, referring to internet "cleansing" plans for 2008, without further elaboration.

Sometimes the piracy and subversive materials boundaries overlap, for example in the case of Hong Kong and Taiwanese TV shows, which are among the most popular pirated items, but also are banned from national television by the government.

In an effort to curb rampant pornography viewing, China announced plans last month to only allow video content through sites which obtain state-issued licenses.  However, it has since offered virtually no details on this licensing, leaving many to wonder if it is even going to happen at all.

Chen Jiachun, vice-director of the Ministry of Information Industry's Telecom Management Bureau would only say, "We will choose an appropriate way to respond to questions from the media or society.  It will be very soon."

China's responses both illustrate an awareness about piracy, the reach of the internet, and also confusion about how to deal with it. This is something which troubles internet giants like Google, Yahoo, and Yahoo who depend on Chinese traffic and video content views.

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The Art of War
By eye smite on 1/17/2008 7:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
Written by Sun Tzu some centuries before Christ has some simple mandates that the chinese very much use to this day. If you are weak, make your enemy think you are strong and vice versa, if you are far make them think you are near and so on. China like they have always done is fronting a face on an issue to see what reaction they get with us more than anything. They could care less about the piracy on american products, it's things they've banned from other asian countries they will take seriously.

RE: The Art of War
By Master Kenobi on 1/17/2008 9:04:52 PM , Rating: 1
Your right there. China could really care less about this. Stealing tech and products are the only reason they have achieved space flight among other things. Their whole country end to end runs on stealing from other nations, be it weapons and tech or movies and games.

This is little more than an argument for the WTO to say "Hey atleast were trying".

RE: The Art of War
By Urkis on 1/18/2008 3:09:02 AM , Rating: 5
The Chinese did not steal to achieve space flight. They did it with a combination of their own designs plus purchased Russian tech to help speed their program along. There's nothing wrong with that since NASA also paid for MIR training and expertise to prepare for the ISS. These were cooperative, win-win situations for all parties involved.

RE: The Art of War
By eye smite on 1/18/2008 11:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
They've stolen enough tech from the rest of the world to justify saying they stole the tech for space too. Military tech, computer tech, manufacturing process tech, all things needed to produce space flight, so there it is, deal with it.

RE: The Art of War
By Urkis on 1/19/2008 1:10:00 AM , Rating: 2
China has indeed adopted many Western ideas and technologies, but I disagree with you that this somehow constitutes theft. Countries have always mutually benefited by sharing discoveries and learning from each other, and the Chinese have both learned and contributed as well. The copyright infringement stuff is obviously a different story and I agree that China needs to work much harder to stop it.

RE: The Art of War
By jkcheng122 on 1/18/2008 11:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
"Their whole country end to end runs on stealing from other nations, be it weapons and tech or movies and games."

i can't believe i'm hearing this ignorant statement coming from a mod of this website. China has been around for thousands of years. Where did they steal the tech ideas to make paper, gunpowder, silk? I could do more research and go on and on about how many of our current techs originated from a chinese invention. china may be known for producing inferior products now, but the only reason so many products are coming from china is b/c all the manufacturers here are flocking there to get stuff made and shipping back here to sell.

do you think the US was founded on honesty? would we be where we're at now if we hadnt stolen some things? please don't go attacking an entire country and its people.

RE: The Art of War
By SYR on 1/18/2008 3:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
This is the sort of discussion you get into when trying to apply terms across cultures. Westerners (at least some) buy into the notion that an idea can be "owned", leading to the equation of copying with stealing. Asians tend to see only physical entities as capable of being owned. If you create something desirable, good for you. If I can create cheap copies of your desirable item, good for me -- no "stealing" involved. It is wrong to characterize what the Chinese (and others) do as "stealing". They simply recognize a good idea they find and run with it. There is nothing inherently illegal or immoral in that behavior. Yes, it makes it more difficult for the originator of any idea to benefit from his creation, but that is just a fact of life, not an ethical problem.

RE: The Art of War
By Christopher1 on 1/19/08, Rating: 0
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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