China expands supervision of e-commerce sites

Country's copyright watchdog will supervise e-commerce sites such as Apple's online store and Amazon as part of the country's efforts to curb online piracy and address complaints from content producers.


China's copyright watchdog will begin supervising Internet e-commerce sites in a bid to fight against online piracy and address complaints from content producers.

The country's National Copyright Administration, which oversees 19 major Web sites across China, on Tuesday announced plans to widen its range of supervision this year, China Daily reported.

Duan Yuping, copyright supervision officer, said big online service platforms such as Apple's online store, Taobao , and Amazon wil be among Web sites to be supervised. In addition, video and music on five more Web sites will also be monitored.

National Copyright Administration in 2005 developed a campaign to crack down on online piracy and has seen great progress since, the watchdog said in a statement. It noted that from 2005 to 2012, 4,051 copyright infringement cases had been resolved and 1,725 Web sites had been shut down. In addition, over 1,401 servers containing illegal content were confiscated and fines issued totaled 7.83 million yuan (US$1.27 million).

In addition, the watchdog also transferred 229 criminal cases to legal departments over the past eight years, it said.

China has been making efforts to stamp out piracy in the country. It launched a new campaign to fight online piracy in July last year, and urged music providers and Web site operators  to discuss the possibility of charging for music downloads .