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Draft Internet copyright regulations invite public feedback

photo of Franco Iacomella

Franco Iacomella
30th April 2012

Source: usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-04/23/content_15118025.htm

The public have been invited to give feedback on the newly
drafted regulations aimed at defining what constitutes of an
infringement of Internet copyright.

Internet users and network service providers will be held accountable
for infringement of copyright if they provide accesses to literary,
video and audio content via the web without being permitted by
copyright holders, according to the draft regulations released by the
Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on Sunday.

Furthermore, the regulations explained how Internet users or companies
should be defined as “providing access of content without permission,”
referring to unauthorized uploads of this content for others to view,
or download. Even providing links or search engine services that
enable others to download this material without permission constitutes
a breach of the regulations.

The draft regulations, as a judicial interpretation to the Internet
copyright infringement, comes after a scandal involving Chinese search
engine giant Baidu last year.

Over 40 Chinese writers accused Baidu of “stealing” their work by
publishing it online, and offering free downloads as part of its free
literary database Wenku.

Baidu first said the work in question was initially uploaded by
Internet users. It eventually apologized to the authors and removed
2.8 million items from its document sharing services section,
promising improved measures for copyright protection.

The battle was believed to have increased public awareness of
intellectual property rights protection in China.

The proposed rules also urge Internet companies to voluntarily censor
their material, and unearth Internet copyright infringement caused by
the Internet users themselves.

People from all walks of life are encouraged to contribute their
feedback through the SPC’s website www.court.gov.cn before June 1.


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