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Online piracy campaign a success
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-07 06:20

In an effort to curb online piracy, 18 criminal offence cases have been handed over to police for investigation, sources with the National Copyright Administration of China said yesterday.

"Most of the involved suspects were arrested by local public security departments," Zhao Xiuling, director of the copyright department of the administration told China Daily.

The 18 cases are among 172 instances of web piracy broken up since last September by a series of Chinese departments including the administration, the Ministry of Public Security, the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the Ministry of Information Industry.

The campaign uncovered a website created by Lu Xiaoliang and Chen Liang in Central China's Hubei Province that provided illegal services on a game developed by Shanda Interactive Entertainment, China's biggest online game operator.

Lu and Chen sold the game facilities from the end of 2003 without permission from the Shanghai-based company.

According to Zhao, they earned nearly 1 million yuan (US$123,000) through a total of 80 servers.

The Jingzhou Municipal Bureau of Copyright in Hubei Province transferred the case to local police in December last year to ascertain the suspects' punishment.

At least another six similar cases were found that deal with selling illegal services for online games.

A movie website, www.116.com, was also fined 90,000 yuan (US$11,100) and was ordered to stop providing download services for some US movies without permission.

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Copyright made the decision, sources said.

Altogether, 76 websites were closed down in the sweep of online piracy across the country, according to sources within the administration.

Most are websites that provide download services to music products, movies and software, according to Zhao.

Meanwhile, 137 websites were ordered to remove any illegal content, and 29 websites were fined a total of 789,000 yuan (US$97,000).

However, some suspects are still at large.

For example, Huang Fei, owner of a website that illegally provided download services for design software, is wanted by police.

Huang made 40,000 yuan (US$4,900) through his website, sources said.

(China Daily 02/07/2006 page2)

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