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China to Better Protect Online Copyright
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The Copyright Union of the Internet Society of China wants to streamline copyright infringement notification procedures for internet companies in order to better protect online copyright.

Copyright Union secretary general Wang Bin said Wednesday that internet companies should have a quick and convenient means of notifying and processing copyright infringement.

China's first regulation on online copyright, which took effect on July 1, requires copyright owners to inform internet service providers (ISPs) when infringements occur and request them to delete the link in question.

However, there is no simple notification channel. Copyright owners do not know how to provide notification and what evidence to produce. ISPs find it hard to determine whether the link is authorized.

"Since there is no single authentification organization, we have to spend a lot of time and energy checking whether the content is pirated or not and sometimes we cannot get the right answer," said Liang Zhixiang, director of the Baidu.com legal department.

Copyright owners complain that they cannot list all the websites which steal their material as there are so many.

Both ISPs and copyright owners hope to have a unified platform through which they can easily solve copyright disputes.

Wang said her copyright union would create a database to list all authorized users of some important products such as frequently downloaded songs and movies.

Government statistics show that China has over 123 million internet users and internet service providers are beginning to focus on providing sound and image content.

"Copyright has become a big issue for websites. Laws and regulations are needed to guarantee the websites' legal right to provide content," said Wang.

(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2006)

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