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Tough Measures to Protect IPR
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China should take tougher measures to protect intellectual property rights, says a commentary in the Oriental Morning Post. An excerpt follows:

The National Copyright Administration said last week that since September, 172 cases of Internet copyright infringement had been investigated, and 76 websites had been shut down.

This is the biggest action taken against Internet copyright infringement activities in China. And it is noteworthy that 14 cases were investigated after requests from overseas companies. It demonstrates the Chinese Government's determination to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and fulfil its commitment to the international community.

Internet copyright infringement is a worldwide conundrum. For China, it is a new paradox at a time when many traditional IPR problems are not yet solved.

Compared with traditional copyright infringement activities, it is more difficult to identify Internet copyright infringement. And related laws and regulations need to be improved. But still, determination on the basis of law is the key to curbing such infringement activities.

China is to carry out a regulation for protecting copyrights on the Internet this year and the government has promised to join the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. This demonstrates the country's determination to improve its copyright protection and shorten its gap with the international community in this aspect. But the implementation of the rules will be even more difficult.

In a sense, much of the pressure for China to improve its copyright protection comes from itself than from the outside world. There are a lot of "made-in-China" products but very few "invented-in-China" ones. The inadequate intellectual property protection has weakened the drive for technological innovation in the country.

The government has just put forward the goal of building an "innovation-oriented country." Obviously, without effective protection of IPR, it can hardly be achieved.

(China Daily February 23, 2006)

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