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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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RE: Piracy is rampant in China
By lhlinlhlin on 1/17/2008 9:35:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
In fact, at the beginning of December I saw fully packaged Crysis games and Die Hard dvds on the shelves in professional looking packaging that were illegal copies. They can't easily control is because the average income over there is so low and people don't have money that of course they turn to piracy and other illegal activities.

Those probably are not the illegal copies. The reason why they can be so cheap because the introductory video contains at least 15 minutes commercial (to sponsor the cost) which can't be Fast Forwarded to skip away. Most of the movie consumption are from the Internet Bar (Internet Cafe) not at the movie theaters or DVD rental/purchase. Those internet cafes (around 120,000 stores in China; at least 12 million sites) license the pirated content from some portal sites who offer bitorrent or e-mule like files of the movie content. The consumers pay of 2~3 RMB (roughly 30 cents) per hour to watch the movies. It is a very different country even from the aspect of the same race like me ( a Taiwanese). I got a friend who used to have distribution right of various (sports, comedy, episode .... you name it) contents in China. After 2 years of work, he burn out all of his money and gave up, because the content value is zero in China unless you can find a way to sponsor it. All of the TV stations won't pay you the money for the content, but just open a time zone for you to broadcast it (in fact you have to pay for it in a tricky way). In order to make the money, you will have to find the commercials to sponsor it.
BTW, if you take serious about whatever the Chinese government says, I will say that you are too naive.


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