Government and Policy

Countries join in copyright crackdown

By Wang Jingqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-17 08:37
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BEIJING - Cracking down on copyright infringement needs more cooperation between police from different countries, given the international nature of such cases, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.

Meng Qingfeng, head of the economic crime investigation department of the ministry, said China has been establishing closer relations with law enforcement agencies in other countries to crack down on intellectual property crime.

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Closer collaboration has been notably made with the United States, the United Kingdom, France and South Korea to provide clues and evidence, and carry out joint investigations and action, Meng said.

"With 'Made in China' becoming more internationally recognizable and China being the No 1 export country, the number of intellectual property infringement cases has been rising in recent years," he said.

"Usually a copyright crime includes three parts - ordering, manufacturing and sales - and suspected companies and groups in China are mostly involved in the manufacturing," he said.

Meng called for international counterparts to nurture cooperative law enforcement, as "isolated investigation and enforcement in the age of globalization won't work".

Gu Jian, deputy director of the network security bureau of the ministry, echoed Meng.

"People wonder why we don't stop illegal trading online. The reason is that many such websites have servers abroad, and we cannot just stop these servers," said Gu.

"We need international cooperation for gathering evidence, which in a lot of cases is not that easy, usually because of the different legal systems in the countries involved and insufficient cooperation mechanisms," Gu said.

Meng suggested that countries should establish regular and non-regular communication, and cooperate in important cases.

As an example, Meng said Chinese police found a factory manufacturing fake brand-name cigarettes whose main customers were in a Western country. "We asked for help to gather evidence. The police in that country responded quickly and helped us break the case much sooner," Meng said.

In September, the ministry and the US immigration and customs enforcement of the homeland security department signed an agreement to provide clues and information about intellectual property infringement cases.

In December, the ministry along with the US ministry of justice agreed to cooperate in Operation Sword, a campaign against intellectual property crimes in China launched by the ministry, which lasts until the end of March 2011.

Statistics from the ministry show that during the first month of the campaign, police cracked 676 cases worth 835 million yuan ($125 million) and detained 1,586 suspects.