2,554 websites closed over pirated content

Updated 2018-01-17 11:21:05 China Daily

More than 2,000 websites have been shut down for using or distributing pirated content, part of a national campaign against property theft, the top copyright authority said on Tuesday.

During the six-month campaign to protect IP rights, which began in July, supervisory departments inspected 63,000 websites, shut down 2,554 sites and deleted 710,000 links involved in pirated content.

Law enforcement officers confiscated 2.76 million pirated items, including books, CDs and DVDs.

Copyright authorities filed some 543 cases involving alleged online infringement. Of those, 57 were investigated with police cooperation.

The annual campaign, Internet Sword, was launched in 2005 and aims to tackle online copyright infringement.

"Copyright supervisory departments targeted films, news, applications and e-commerce platforms ... and received marked results," said Yu Cike, director of copyright management for the National Copyright Administration.

One major case was a Beijing company that illegally provided 30,000 unauthorized articles to readers on its digital library. The company made 177,600 yuan (,600) in profit from the pirated material.

A copyright law enforcement squad launched an investigation after receiving a tip from five copyright holders, including publisher Elsevier. In July, the Beijing company was fined 400,000 yuan.

"It is one of the biggest fines in copyright enforcement punishment, showing some determination against copyright infringement," Xiong Wei, deputy head of the copyright squad of integrated law enforcement in the cultural market in Beijing, said in an earlier interview.

New areas are also being watched, Yu said. In the latest battle, copyright authorities discovered the first case of virtual reality technology being used to spread pirated films.

A smartphone app illegally re-edited and re-digitalized films-without copyright authorization-using virtual reality technology, and then posted the films on its platform. The films included Transformers and Ant-Man.

Viewers were able to buy VR glasses through the app, download the pirated VR films and watch them on a mobile phone. The service started in July.

The company was fined 30,000 yuan and it deleted the pirated films and clips from its app.

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