The National Copyright Administration (NCA) will deal hard with end users who adopt pirated software or illegally use authentic software.
According to a regulation issued earlier this year, various organizations and institutions must adopt and legally use authentic software and group users should financially support the lawful use of authentic software.
A profit-making unit that uses a pirated software product shall be given a warning and ordered to delete the software in question. Its illegal income will be confiscated and a fine two to five times the price of the authentic software shall be imposed.
Software products registration and regular market checkups will be carried out to promote legal application of authentic software in China.
"NCA will adopt an instruction-oriented method to deal with end users of unlicensed software, which is different from the severe punishment upon those who are pirating and selling software," said Xu Chao, deputy director of Copyright Management of NCA.
End users refer to users who do not duplicate and sell software products, while profit-making organizations refer to those applying the software into production, research and development, and value-adding operations, according to Xu.
Comparing to traditional publications, software has no fixed publication mode and is more vulnerable to infringement.
A successful software product requires the developer to inject an immense amount of know-how and financial resources. All the developer's daily operation and future expansion completely depend on the promotion and marketing of the software. The flood of pirated software and illegal use of authentic software has greatly restricted China's software industry, which is still in an amateur environment.
Wu Haitao, another official with NCA pointed out, "The promotion of legal use of authentic software is vital to China's software industry development."
Both the Regulations for the Protection of Computer Software and the Sino-US Memorandum on Intellectual Property Protection inked in 1992 have explicit stipulations on protecting copyright involved in software product.
It is reported that, from 1998 to the first quarter this year, over 10,200 software products had been registered with the NCA.
(www.china.org.cn by Xu Zhiquan 05/28/2001)