Business / Policy Watch

Copyright campaign eyes artwork signature fraud

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-04-24 11:19

BEIJING - China's National Copyright Administration (NCA) has vowed to cooperate with related departments to crack down on forged signatures of renowned artists on artworks, and to warn buyers against counterfeit items in the chaotic relics market.

The move came as the making and selling of forged paintings and calligraphy works in the name of eminent art figures has become "prevalent" and has even developed into a "relatively intact industrial chain," the administration concluded in a statement made on Monday. This comes after an anonymous inspection of several distribution outlets in Beijing earlier this month.

"Such copyright infringement and piracy not only harms the interests of artists and customers, but also seriously disturbs the market, and can even damage the image of our country," said the statement.

Fraudulant artworks of this type usually involve handmade copies or prints of renowned artists' paintings and calligraphy. In other cases, they create new works with the signatures of famous artists.

Yan Xiaohong, vice head of the NCA, admitted that the administration, has been preoccupied by the fight against the piracy of books and CDs, and hasn't paid enough attention to fraudulent activities in the field of Chinese paintings and calligraphy.

According to Yan, the crackdown on making and selling fake art works will be a key focus of this year's copyright protection campaign. The NCA will cooperate with cultural, commerce and judicial departments to jointly investigate major cases.

Meanwhile, Yan promised to launch more educational activities to raise awareness about counterfeit goods in the relics market.

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