The Chinese government has closed more than 100 websites for copyright violations since the implementation of a new copyright protection regulation.
"Since the regulation took effect on July 1, the administration has enhanced supervision and punishment of online copyright violation," said Liu Jie, deputy director of the copyright department with China's National Copyright Administration.
"Internet users will notice that the number of websites providing free downloads of movies and music is decreasing," Monday's Economic Information Daily quoted Liu as saying.
The government passed the regulation in a bid to ban the uploading and downloading of Internet material without copyright-holder permission.
Under the regulation, anyone uploading texts, performances, sound and video recordings to the Internet for downloading, or copying, must acquire the permission of the copyright owners and pay the required fee.
It prohibits the intentional evasion or breach of technical measures to prevent copyright violations. The production, import and supply of devices capable of evading or breaching technical measures of copyright protection and technical services are also banned.
The regulation also requires copyright owners to inform Internet service providers when infringements occur and request them to delete the link in question.
"Among the websites that had been shut down, some cases are being considered for prosecution," Liu said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2006)