China's unremitting efforts in establishing a legal framework for intellectual property rights (IPR) at home and abroad has won praise.
Michael S. Keplinger, deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said China is a significant contributor and an important player in protecting copyright owners' interests in the international arena.
He made the remarks yesterday at the 2nd International Copyright Forum focusing on Internet IPR issues on fighting unlimited and unauthorized downloads and online content infringement.
"China is a leader and committed to the creativity-based IPR development model," Keplinger said, referring to two WIOP Internet Treaties - Copyright Treaty and Performance and Phonograms Treaty - which took effect in China last month.
By endorsing the treaties, Chinese copyright creators will be granted legal protection in international disputes among the 60 signatory countries.
China took no more than six years in establishing the legal framework for IPR protection on cyberspace, which Keplinger said was "an amazing development".
However, Yan Xiaohong, vice-minister of the China National Copyright Administration, admitted China lacks an effective enforcement taskforce to supervise and tackle IPR violations.
The general public, too, has limited knowledge of how to get involved in counter-copyright-violation activities, he said.
"We've long been targeting illegal Internet content carriers but seldom put surveillance on the mass users," Yan said.
Statistics show 1 billion unauthorized music tracks are download using peer-to-peer networks every month globally and some 400,000 to 600,000 films are illegally downloaded each day across the world.
The speed of transmitting information and without geographical limits, copyright infringement on cyberspace is difficult to detect.
Yan said IPR efforts benefits not only overseas copyright owners and distributors, but more importantly it guards and sustains the development of Chinese Internet-based enterprises.
China is launching a mechanism to guarantee Chinese copyright owners' rights and benefits by regulating the industry and collecting copyright fees for each use.
Another crackdown on Internet infringement jointly launched by the IPR authorities and the public security watchdog will be announced by the end of the year.
(China Daily July 19, 2007)