China will launch a nationwide crackdown on Internet piracy in late July and severely punish any copyright infringement, the country's National Copyright Administration, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly announced on July 21.
Copyright authorities will tighten supervision of Web sites that provide audio, video, reading materials, online games, comics and animation or e-commerce services.
The crackdown will focus on piracy of popular movies and TV series, newly-published books, online games, comics and animation, music, computer programs and other products under copyright protection. Behaviors that will receive harsh punishment include uploading and disseminating materials without permission, selling pirated audio and video copies as well as pirated software via e-commerce platforms.
Also, the government will punish those providing piracy sites with services such as Web search, storage space, server hosting and Internet connections as well as those distributing unauthorized works related to the Shanghai World Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games, and infringing on copyrights through cell phones and other mobile media.
A special anti-piracy office will be established to allocate vital tasks from a strategically advantageous position, solve major issues in conjunction with other departments, provide guidance for local copyright authorities and supervise the handling of major cases.
Furthermore, a blacklist system will be adopted. Local copyright authorities will gather information on piracy Web sites. The special office will put these sites on blacklists that will be published on the official Web site of the National Copyright Administration. Meanwhile, the office will send the blacklists to telecom operators and forbid them from providing hosting or Internet access services for blacklisted sites.
These sites will be kept under constant surveillance. If they are found to be operating again, they will be shut down immediately and the people behind these sites will be severely punished.