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Gov't intensifies crackdown on Internet piracy
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Chinese authorities investigated 1,001 copyright infringement cases during a campaign against online piracy from August to October last year, 60 percent more than the combined number in 2005 and 2006.

Yan Xiaohong, vice minister of the National Copyright Administration (NCA), said on Thursday at a press conference that the authorities shut down 339 illegal websites, confiscated 123 servers and imposed fines of more than 870,000 yuan (about US$120,000) on violators.

"The three campaigns in recent years only served to achieve limited results by dealing with a limited number of cases in a limited time period," Yan said, admitting that Internet copyright infringement is still "very severe" in the country.

According to Yan, the campaigns were jointly launched by the NCA, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Information Industry.

The officials at the press conference listed ten key online piracy cases investigated during the campaign.

In one case, the Beijing-based Jinhudong corporation illegally authorized other companies the use of more than 1,000 movies, raking in illegal gains in excess of 10 million yuan (about US$1.4 million).

This is the biggest Internet piracy case uncovered by the Chinese police so far in terms of the regions, the number of pirated movies and the amount of money involved, according to Gao Feng, vice director with the Ministry of Public Security's economic crimes division.

"The case has exerted a baneful influence at home and abroad," Gao said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2008)

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