Internet Copyright Awareness to Be Strengthened
( 2003-10-14 15:57) (CCTV.com)
The rapid development of the
Internet can play an important role in social, economic and cultural progress,
including in China. But, the medium also has its problems. One notable issue,
according to some experts, is copyright infringement online, the on-going annual
Internet Forum in Beijing is handling this problem.
The Internet can enrich its users' social and cultural lives with its fast
speed, easy access, and low cost. But at the same time, the Internet can be a
haven for certain types of crime, such as copyright piracy.
Today, the number of China's netizens has surpassed Japan to make it the
online copyright is a problem worldwide, no less so in China than in other
countries. Beijing first issued regulations in 2001, to try to deal with
Internet piracy. But fuzzy wording in the regulation, and the rapid growth of
the medium, made it difficult to police and enforce. Another problem experts see
is the legacy of the past. Xu Chao, deputy director of National Copyright
Administration of China, said, "Copyright awareness amongst China's Internet
service operators and netizens is quite shallow. This relates to the general
social environment of China, where the economy and law are still in the initial
stage of socialist development. It's not easy to shake off 40 years of China's
Experts agree that the quality of a web site depends on its content. But
without copyright protection, writers may be unwilling to put their work online.
So copyright protection directly impacts the development of the web. According
to analysts, WTO membership has improved copyright protection in China. But the
very nature of the web also poses problems.
Zheng Chengsi, Research Fellow with China Academy of Social Sciences, said,
"The Internet is characterized by the global transmission of information. This
makes it more difficult to protect copyright in the virtual world, than in the
real world. But this does not mean there is no solution to the problem. China
has taken measures to protect online copyright. However, they haven't been as
effective as first envisaged."
Some developed countries have established comprehensive laws to protect
online intellectual property rights. For instance, the United States has the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Experts believe China can learn from examples
such as this.