Campaign protects copyrights

The launching ceremony of "Jianwang 2019" campaign by four government agencies

Crackdown targets infringements on images as well as nation's film industry

A nationwide campaign against pirated works was launched on Friday (April 26) to intensify copyright protection and improve innovation in the internet era.

During the six-month crackdown, authorities pledged, companies that damage other's copyrights on images, as well as infringements in the country's film industry would be strictly punished.

The campaign will be conducted by the National Copyright Administration, the Ministry of Public Security, China's Cyberspace Administration and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

"We will increase supervision in the copyright market and maintain order to better face challenges brought by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, as well as to respond to major copyright infringements from the public and copyright owners," said Duan Yuping, deputy director of the NCA's copyright management division.

She made the remarks at the National Conference on Copyright Protection and Development in Digital Environment on Friday, about two weeks after Visual China Group, a leading media provider of stock pictures and footage, came under fire over false copyright claims.

On April 10, netizens discovered that the first image of the black hole had been added to Visual China Group's stock with a copyright claim, which means anyone using it without paying the company would be infringing the copyright.

The company said it had been authorized to use the black hole image from its owner, but the European Southern Observatory, an intergovernmental organization for ground-based astronomy, denied the authorization.

Later, the company was found to have put copyright marks on images of China's national flag and emblem that it had for sale, which heightened public outrage.

The company was fined 300,000 yuan ($44,750) for publishing harmful images on April 19, and its website is still closed.

Wan Jie, vice-president of the Copyright Society of China, said during the conference that the Visual China Group incident shows the significance and necessity of regulating copyrighted images. He said the protection of copyrights for images needs to be highlighted, but cannot influence industry developments.

Also on Friday, a report on copyright protection said copyright administrative departments nationwide solved 544 cases involving infringement last year.

The report also suggested the country revise the Chinese Copyright Law as quickly as possible and improve copyright-related information sharing to ensure the transparency of copyrights.

(Source: China Daily)