Chinese websites, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other Internet-related organizations across the country are being invited to sign a self-discipline pact designed to protect online intellectual property rights as well as prevent cyber crime, the spread of harmful information and unhealthy competition.
The pact, containing four chapters and 31 articles, is initiated and implemented by the Beijing-based China Internet Association, a national self-governing body for the country's Internet sector.
The pledge stresses the establishment of a self-disciplinary mechanism aimed to advance the healthy and orderly development of the Internet industry in China.
The basic principles of self-discipline for the Internet industry are patriotism, observance of the law, fairness and trustworthiness, according to the pact.
The pledge encourages lawful, fair and orderly competition and values the protection of intellectual property, network security and the elimination of deleterious information from the Internet.
Those Internet information providers should not issue or spread information threatening the national security, social stability or containing superstitious or erotic content, according to the pact.
Those websites containing deleterious information should not be linked, and the information inflow from other domestic and overseas websites should be examined and supervised by relevant organizations, according to the pact.
Effective measures should be taken to create a good environment for juvenile Internet surfers, and Internet bars should direct surfers, especially young surfers, to have access to healthy online information.
Any online information products should not contain contents violating others' intellectual property rights, according to the pact.
The Internet industry should make joint efforts to oppose online virus spread and take relevant precautions, according to the pact, encouraging enterprises and individuals to develop software and hardware products with their own intellectual property rights.
The pact also calls for active participation of international cooperation and exchanges in this regard, as well as observance of international agreements signed by China.
China has promulgated a series of laws and governmental regulations relating to the management of the Internet, such as the decision on safeguarding Internet security enacted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's legislature.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2004)