Despite a last-minute delay in implementing Green Dam internet-filtering software, China's authorities and its PC manufacturers said yesterday they expect the tool will end up on new computers.
One day after the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) declared a postponement to the July 1 start date for the mandatory inclusion of "Green Dam-Youth Escort" porn filtering software, an MIIT official said it was only "a matter of time" before the directive took effect.
"The government will definitely carry on the directive on Green Dam. It's just a matter of time," he told China Daily on condition of anonymity.
An earlier directive to all PC makers on May 19 said the pre-installation of the filtering software would be mandatory on July 1 for any new PC produced or sold in China.
The official said issues around potential copyright infringement were not behind the delay - it was simply because some computer manufacturers needed more time.
"What will happen is that some PC manufacturers will have it included with their PC packages sooner than the others," he said. "But there is no definite deadline at the moment."
Domestic PC giants, including Lenovo Group, Tsinghua Tongfang, Founder Technology Group and Haier Group, said yesterday they will "install the filter as they were told". But some manufacturers have included a disclaimer with new PCs, saying they would not be responsible for damage caused by Green Dam.
Foreign PC makers were not available for comment.
Robert Rains, assistant information officer at the US embassy in Beijing, said the US authorities were "looking forward to engaging in further dialogues with the related Chinese authorities on this matter".
Solid Oak, a California-based software developer, yesterday said it was thinking of suing the Chinese developers of Green Dam - Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co and Beijing Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy Co - for copyright infringement. The company claims it has evidence that Green Dam infringed upon the copyright of its porn-flitter, CyberSitter.
Solid Oak spokesperson Jenna DiPasquale told China Daily the company was selecting a legal team in China.
"Even though the government has delayed the move, it does not mean this is a dead issue," she said, adding that computer manufacturers may become "knowing infringers" if they include Green Dam.
"The fact remains that there are currently 55 million users with Green Dam installed. Our intellectual property has been obtained illegally and the evidence is undisputable."
Ding Qingfen contributed to the story