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State Fights Software Piracy
The Chinese government has been working hard to create a favorable environment for the development of the software industry, with the promotion of copyrighted software among government departments, it was revealed by officials.

"The central government will soon begin a nation-wide inspection to enhance awareness of protecting copyrighted software in governments at all levels. Those found using pirated copies will be punished," said Xu Chao, deputy director-general of the Department of Intellectual Property Rights under the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP).

He revealed the information at a conference to promote the use of copyrighted software among government organizations, which was held yesterday by the China Software Alliance and Beijing Federal Software Co Ltd.

He also said the State will soon publicize specific measures on copyrighted software, government procurement of such products and the punishments for violations.

The promotion of authorized products will first be conducted in the central government and some local governments, including Beijing and Shanghai, according to Xu.

The GAPP, the State Development Planning Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Information Industry, required all government departments to take the lead in using authorized software.

The Beijing Municipality, the centre of the software industry in China and one of the most enthusiastic Chinese cities towards intellectual property rights protection, vowed that by the end of this year, all government organizations in the municipality will use authorized operating systems and office software.

The municipal government has required its departments to hand in their procurement plans, which are expected to be implemented soon.

"We will also require enterprises in Beijing to update their computer software to protect the legal rights of software makers," said Liu Dongwei, deputy director with the Beijing Municipal Administration of Press and Publication.

The moves by governments at various levels have won much praise from software businesses.

"We have been waiting for this day for a long time. Unless rampant piracy is repressed, there is no hope for the software industry," said Li Ruxiong, president of Federal Software.

He estimated that this market of government users could lead to a threefold to fivefold increase in China's software market in the next three to five years.

The promotion of copy-righted products will bring about 100 million yuan (US$12 million) in revenues for software businesses, according to Li.

(China Daily 10/11/2001)

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