The copyright watchdog yesterday ordered more than 20 website operators to stop illegally streaming Olympics videos.
China's National Copyright Administration warned the websites, including www.pomoho.com, to stop showing Games-related programs immediately.
National broadcaster China Central Television holds the exclusive right for online broadcasts of the August Games. This includes streaming rights for the Games' opening and closing ceremonies, the sporting events, pre-Olympic trials, the torch relay and other cultural activities.
Live streaming of the Olympics, either over the Internet or mobile phones in the Chinese mainland and Macau, must be authorized by CCTV. The NCA said more than 20 websites had illegally streamed the torch relay.
In late May, lawyers sent letters to the violators, telling them to cease transmitting any footage related to the Games. However, a few had ignored the warning, an NCA source said.
Yesterday, the NCA, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television jointly issued a notice banning illegal streaming of Olympics programs.
Violators will be warned and punished, according to the notice.
The MIIT will also shut serious violators and their record will be linked to approval of future programing licenses.
The NCA, the MIIT and the Ministry of Public Security have established an office to battle copyright infringement on the Internet.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2008)