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Tougher penalties set out for IPR piracy
By De Sheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-23 23:09

Internet copyright violators may face criminal charges if their ultimate motive is profit.

A 17-article judicial interpretation by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate makes crimes out of a number of copyright violations.

People who spread others' writings, music, film and video products as well as computer software via the Internet without authorization may face criminal prosecution.

The interpretation came as a result of growing "online-piracy", said Cao Jianming, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) yesterday in an interview.

The judicial interpretation expands the scope of intellectual property rights (IRPs) offences that are now considered criminal.

China has been attaching importance to IPR protection and the civil, administrative and criminal laws to protect the intellectual property rights are being improved, Cao said.

The judicial interpretation is of great significance for the nation's IPR protection efforts, he added.

"It will help improve our IPR development ability and the competitive ability of our country in the international economy," he said.

Since 2000, courts across the country have handled 1,710 IPR cases and more than 1,900 offenders have been given penalties, according to SPC's statistics.

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