China’s campaign against online copyright infringement achieves remarkable fruits

By Meng Xianglin
Source: People’s Daily
The SwordNet Operation, a national campaign against online copyright infringement carried out in 2018 in China, has yielded fruitful results, the National Copyright Administration (NCA) said on Feb.27.
During the campaign, authorities of various levels investigated 544 cases of online copyright violations, 74 of which were criminal ones and involved about 150 million yuan (about $22.42 million) of illegal funds. A total of 1.85 million links to pirated information were deleted and 1.23 million pirated publications were confiscated.
The authorities paid close attention to online reposting, short videos, animation games, knowledge sharing, and audiobooks and investigated and handled a batch of copyright violations, the official website of NCA showed.
Last year, authorities in Huai’an, Jiangsu investigated and punished website BTtiantang for providing illegal downloads for films and television programs without permission of copyright holders. The operator of BTtiantang surnamed Yuan was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 800,000 yuan.
Authorities in Shanghai solved cases of copyright infringement owned by Japanese toymaker BANDAI NAMCO Holdings Inc. and Japanese animation film studio Studio Ghibli Inc., involving a total of over 26 million yuan.
Authorities in Xuzhou of east China’s Jiangsu province cracked down on the case of copyright infringement of a mobile game, arresting four suspects and confiscating over 10 million yuan.
Video websites, music websites, and literature websites were regarded as key targets during the nationwide campaign. The NCA conducted spot checks on copyright documentation of 2,389 works from 16 websites, and ordered related operators to remove 150 works from their websites.
The NCA also warned 72 works in seven batches about possible copyright infringement, and gave special protection to the Spring Festival Gala and films screened in cinemas.
To deal with the highlighted infringement of copyright in online reposting and short videos, the NCA interviewed 13 internet service providers including Chinese mobile content aggregator Qutoutiao Inc. and 15 short video platforms including Douyin. It also pushed them to tighten internal inspection.
The platforms shut down or downgraded 140,000 we-media accounts for copyright violation, banned over 470,000 pirated works, and removed 570,000 pirated short videos.

Lawenforcement officers in Xincai county, central China’s Henan province conduct an inspection at a video store on Aug.23, 2018. (Photo by Wang Yuxin from People’s Daily Online)

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