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Ministries launch copyright campaign
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-21 00:34

China will launch a nationwide campaign to step up its protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the coming months.

The nation will intensify its crackdown against copyright infringement to ensure a sound market order for domestic and overseas investors, Vice-Premier Wu Yi pledged at a meeting of the National Intellectual Property Protection Work Group in Beijing on Thursday.

She said the Chinese Government has been attaching great importance to IPR protection and has mapped out a series of related laws and regulations that meet the nation's conditions as well as international practice.

Both judicial and administrative means have been adopted to crack down on the violation of intellectual property rights, Wu said.

Meanwhile, China has actively contacted foreign companies in the fight against piracy in recent years and the partnership has paid off, she said.

Law enforcement co-operation between China and other countries and regions is also highlighted.

Thanks to the joint investigation conducted by police between China and the United States, two US nationals were arrested on July 1 as leading suspects in a pirated DVD trafficking ring.

More than 210,000 copies of pirated DVDs and 200,000 yuan (US$ 24,096) plus more than US$ 67,000 were also seized.

Wu said the nation has become more capable of pinpointing and coping with copyright infringement.

Led by the State Copyright Bureau, the General Administration of Customs and Ministry of Public Security, local government departments have also made efforts in this regard.

Tianjin Customs in North China's Tianjin Municipality announced on Wednesday that it had seized 10,000 copies of compact discs suspected of violating the intellectual property right of Sonyand Phillips.

Beijing police seized more than 500,000 pirated DVDs or VCDs in a crackdown campaign in April while its Guangzhou counterpart confiscated more than 7 million in a similar campaign in late March.

According to incomplete statistics, by the end of May, the nation had confiscated more than 120 million copies of illegal publications and ferreted out nine illegal production lines of compact disks.

Chinese people have improved their awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights and government organizations have taken the lead in the use of copyrighted software in their work, said Wu.

Copyright protection problems still remain a concern in China, she said.

The State council will hold a special meeting to arrange the coming campaign to fight against piracy, Wu said.

While clamping down on illegal activities involving copyright infringements, China should also continue to improve its intellectual property systems, experts say.

China should make intellectual property its strategic reserve, which is of equal importance to food security and oil reserves in the nation's development, Professor Niu Wenyuan with the Chinese Academy of Sciences said.

The national strategy of intellectual property should be based on the acquisition, protection and acceleration of the transfer of intellectual property and the intensification of the intellectual property system, he said.

"Those who have more intellectual property rights will have more rights to say and more power to make decisions," Niu said.

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