China vows to crack down on online piracy of domestic films

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/11 17:48:40

Promotional material for The Wandering Earth Photo: VCG

China's copyright administration on Sunday vowed to crack down on online piracy to protect the copyrights of domestic films, after a number of films were pirated during Chinese New Year, including sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth.

China's National Copyright Administration announced on Sina Weibo the distribution of pirated New Year films has been contained to a certain extent, noting that it would transfer copyright offenders to the public security organs to investigate their criminal liability in serious cases.

The agency's announcement was made following media reports that online piracy of many Chinese New Year films was rampant. This included a pirated version of The Wandering Earth sold online on the second day of the release under 10 yuan ($1.48).

The agency also urged netizens to provide rights infringement clues and work together to purify the network copyright environment.

The post attracted many netizen comments and reports. 

A net user, "Guangbaojiang," reported that Xianyu, an online marketplace of secondhand goods, was still selling the pirated version of The Wandering Earth. The agency replied, "The pirated resources should have been banned on Xianyu, are they still on sale? Please send the link." 

The Global Times on Monday could still find the pirated versions of other New Year films, including The New King of Comedy directed by Stephen Chow, still being sold on Xianyu for no more than 5 yuan as of press time.

Many netizens urged severe punishment for those engaged in rights infringement because they are "obstacles to the development of domestic films," wrote Sina Weibo user Huifei. 

The one-week Chinese New Year holiday is the busiest film season of the year in China, and is often compared to the Christmas season in North America. January or February is when box office receipts are highest, and eight new films opened on Tuesday this year, two more than the same period last year and three more than in 2017. 

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