BEIJING - China launched Thursday a four-month campaign to crack down on Internet intellectual copyright infringement in an attempt to ensure legal online communication services as the Olympics approach.
Xu Chao, a senior official with the National Copyright Administration, said the campaign aimed to prevent illegal dissemination of Olympic events and related activities online in accordance with the country's Copyright Law, the Olympic Charter and relevant agreements between the Chinese government and International Olympic Committee.
According to the administration, Youtube-like video-sharing websites will be the focus of the drive.
The campaign will also step up scrutiny of large websites that especially deal in music, films, software, books and games among other contents.
"We will also mobilize online authors and the public to cooperate in this movement. They can report alleged infringement cases via telephone hot line or the Internet," said Xu.
According to the Beijing authorities, during the games, anyone can report infringement via a hotline, 12312. Those convinced of infringement will face punishment under China's laws and regulations for intellectual property rights protection.
Last month, China began to offer huge rewards to citizens for reporting Olympic logo infringement cases. The largest rewards will be 100,000 yuan (US$ 14,286).
Infringement of Olympic logos has grown rampant as the games draw near. Items that have been manufactured and used without authorization include the official mascots (Fuwas), the emblems for the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics Games, Beijing's Olympic slogan and the symbol of the Olympic torch relay.
From 2004 to last September, administrations for industry and commerce at various levels had investigated 1,357 intellectual property rights infringement cases related to the Olympics involving 16.93 million yuan.
The campaign is being jointly carried out by the National Copyright Administration, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.