The government of China has always attached great importance to the protection of copyright and taken the activity of cracking down the infringement and piracy as an important work to rectify and standardize the market economic order. Since 1990s, China has gradually established its own copyright legal system and further improved it by the amendment after its accession to the World Trade Organization. Along with the perfection of the copyright legal scheme, the enforcement has become the emphasis of the copyright protection work in China, fighting against infringement and piracy and standardizing the market order has formed the main task of the copyright protection. Recent years, China has continuously increased the strength to fight against all kinds of infringement and piracy through the judicial and administrative channel, especially by way of the administrative enforcement, which combines the daily supervision and administration with special actions to vigorously crack down the various copyright infringing acts, actively maintain the well market order and seek to build up a health-developed market environment.
I. Combining special actions with daily supervision and administration to intensify the copyright administrative enforcement
Copyright administrative departments at various levels across China, according to the Copyright Law and the relevant regulations and rules, constantly increase the enforcement strength, stick to combine the daily supervision and administration with special actions, continually gain the experience in the practice and persistently keep the high pressure on the infringement and pirate activities.
According to the statistics, from 2001 to 2003, copyright administrative departments across China have seized 198,000,000 pirated products, received 33,841 cases among which 32,842 had been closed, and 29,932 cases ended with administrative sanction. Among them, only in the year of 2003, 67,970,000 pirated products were seized, 23,013 cases were received, and 22,429 cases were concluded. Until now, the Chinese government has captured 190 illegal production lines for optical discs, among which 11 illegal lines had been uncovered from January to June 2004.
In 2004, the State Council has listed "Protect Intellectual Property Rights and Fight Against the Counterfeit Infringement and Piracy" as the important work of special actions to rectify and standardize the market economic order. Since the beginning of this year, the National Copyright Administration of China has earnestly carried out the work plan of the State Council on the rectification and standardization of the market economic order, and has taken the work of cracking down the various infringement and pirate activities, which damage the public interest as the focus task of the copyright protection work this year.
In April, 2004, in order to carry out and fulfill the spirit of "The Notice on the Organization and Development of Special Action against the Production and Distribution of Counterfeit Product and Protect Intellectual Property Rights " issued by the National office of Rectification and Standardization of Market Economic Order, the National Copyright Administration of China launched a nation-wide Spring Special Action, in accordance with the work requirement to rectify and standardize the market economic order, organized the copyright administrative departments at various levels to check various book, audio-visual and computer software markets, and firmly fought against pirated books, audio-visual products and computer software.
During the Spring Special Action, the administrative work in some important areas has been highlighted. In the light of the practice in their own area, the local copyright bureaus in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hunan and Sichuan intensify the strength of handling the illegal activity of selling the pirated CDs and formed a joint power to crack down the infringement and piracy in cooperation actively with the judicial departments. Quick reaction and effective measures taken by the above four local copyright bureaus resulted in the great success. According to the statistics, during the Spring Special Action, 13,000 person-times enforcement staffs had been dispatched to check more than 8,000 audio-visual and software products dealers. They seized more than 2,000,000 pirated optical discs (among which more than 700, 000 were pirated software and more than 1,300,000 were pirated audio-video products), investigated and punished nearly 5,000 dealers involved in marketing pirated optical discs, clamped down 310 unlicensed stands and stores, uncovered 8 illegal underground manufacturing spots and transferred 5 cases to the judicial departments. Eventually the special action has achieved its anticipated goal.
II. Strengthening the publicity work to build up a social environment of supporting legal products and refusing pirated products
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the promulgation and education of the copyright law knowledge to the public, the copyright administrative departments at various levels develop the educational activities in various forms to publicize the knowledge of the legal protection of copyright via different media, aiming to raise the public awareness of copyright protection, call on the public to refuse pirated products and support legal products, and seeking to build up an excellent social environment of respecting labor, respecting knowledge, respecting talents and respecting creation.
Since this year, under the direction of the "The otice on the Development of the Activity of 2004 'Publicity Week of Protecting Intellectual Property Rights'" issued by the National office of Rectification and Standardization of Market Economic Order together with other 8 government departments, the National Copyright Administration of China organized and arranged the nation-wide publicity work for the copyright protection.
During the period of "April 26 World Intellectual Property Day", the National Copyright Administration of China held a series of activities of "National Copyright Knowledge Competition" via various media such as newspaper, Internet, television, etc., among which nearly 80,000 persons participated in the competition through newspaper and Internet, 18 delegations from Beijing, Jiangsu, Shandong and etc. attended "National Copyright TV Competition" held in Beijing and CCTV broadcasted the live program of its final game in the evening of April 26, 2004.
In the publicity week, the National Copyright Administration of China also involved in the "Senior Workshop of the Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development in China" and "Dialogue between the Officials of Intellectual Property Rights Departments and University Students", produced and broadcasted the commonweal TV commercials on the copyright protection, and participated in planning and production of a monographic film "Intellectual property rights in China".
Local copyright bureaus across the country paid great attention to the "Publicity Week of the Intellectual Property Rights" with active preparation and earnest implementation. Considering their local situations, they took different methods and various measures to give publicity of the intellectual property right to the public, which raised a high wave of the dissemination during this period. The copyright administrative departments at various levels arranged various activities, such as holding special topic forums, organizing special interviews and broadcasting the commercials via TV media; organizing large scale street consultation for the public; making the brochures, the exhibition boards and the posters; and soliciting articles on copyright protection; all of which created positive social influence and gained favorable publicity effect.
III. Earnestly carrying out the special action plan for the protection of the intellectual property rights made by the State Council.
On August 26, 2004, the State Council issued "The notice on the Print and Distribution of the Special Action Plan for the Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights", wholly deployed the special actions for the protection of the intellectual property right for the period from July 2004 to June 2005, and clarified the key point of the work of copyright protection, which is to strike down the pirated textbooks and teaching material, pirated software, illegal reproduction and distribution of audio-visual products, the smuggled pirated audio-visual products and Internet copyright infringement.
In order to fulfill the Action Plan, the National Copyright Administration of China in cooperation with the General Administration of Press and Publication, the Ministry of Education, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, the Office of "Correcting Industry Unhealthy Tendency" of the State Council and the Office of National "Cracking-down Pornographic and Illegal Publication" issued a "Notice on Launching 2004 Autumn Special Action Against the Pirated Textbooks and Teaching Material", and arranged the nationwide Autumn special actions this year. This renovative action is under way at the moment. Recently, the National Copyright Administration of China will issue another notice on the special action against pirated software and make the detailed arrangement for the whole work.
Moreover, to carry out the spirit of "The notice on the Print and Distribution of the Specialized Action Plan for the Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights" of the State Council, the National Copyright Administration of China decided to hold a national copyright working meeting in the late September 2004, during which the participants will discuss and study on the measures that will be taken to carry out the special actions for the protection of the intellectual property rights, set down the work plan, and arrange the key work of copyright protection in this year and next year.
III. Focusing on the investigation or handling and punishment of the important cases with broad influence and establishing a national cooperative network to fight against piracy
IV. Recent years, the National Copyright Administration of China, in cooperation with other related departments, strengthened the instruction and supervision on the investigation and punishment of the cases with broad social influence, wide coverage of area and serious impairment of the economic order. Focusing on the investigation and punishment of the important cases, it has achieved the good result by handling a case, deterring a group of infringers and educating a part of the public. Through the investigation and punishment of such cases, the national cooperative network to fight against piracy and the reporting system for providing clues of important cases has gradually been established, the mechanism of investigating and dealing with the important cases has been improved as well.
We believe that along with the further perfection of Chinese copyright legal system, the constant increase of the public awareness of copyright knowledge and continuous enhancement of the strength to fight against piracy by judicial and administrative departments, the copyright protection environment in China will be improved fundamentally.