China will cooperate with more countries and regions to crack down on copyright infringement and piracy of movies, according to the Ministry of Public Security on April 29.
Li Jingsheng, director of the ministry’s bureau of security administration, said the country has detained 251 suspects and cracked down on 25 movie infringement cases since February. The amount of money involved is around 230 million yuan ($34.2 million), he said.
“Piracy has seriously infringed the interests of movie producers and investors,” Li said. “It has severely hindered the improvement of quality in China’s movie industry.”
During this year’s Spring Festival, in February, some blockbusters were pirated as quick as three days after they were released to the public in movie theaters, even with high-definition versions.
“The situation aroused attention from the country’s top leaders, industry insiders and the public,” he said. “We formed a task force and have significantly curbed film piracy in the country.”
So far, the ministry has closed 361 websites featuring pirated movies and TV programs, and shut down 57 apps and seven projection servers. It confiscated 14,000 pieces of equipment that were used to steal HD movies.
According to the monitoring center of Copyright Society of China, no piracy of newly released blockbusters in the country has been reported since the task force began working.
Yu Cike, director of the National Copyright Administration’s copyright management department, said the administration will take special action to protect movie copyrights.
“We will strengthen cooperation with more countries and regions to crack down on pirate websites that have their servers overseas,” he said.
Yu said China has deleted more than 30,000 links to pirated movies that were released during Spring Festival and put 15 movies, including seven imported ones, in an early warning system.
Network service providers are asked to take measures to deal with infringement and piracy, and to protect the movies in their systems.
Wu Jing, an actor in the latest Chinese science fiction film The Wandering Earth, said that in the past many popular movies in China were pirated soon after they were released.
“It seriously damages the development and future of China’s movie industry,” he said. “Making a movie involves the collaborative work of hundreds or even thousands of people. Public security departments are not the only ones that should take action to protect copyrights. The public should also increase their consciousness and say ‘no’ to pirated movies.”
Chinese actor Huang Bo said the fight against movie copyright infringement has been ongoing during his entire career.
“Sometimes we feel sad,” he said. “It hurts our creative confidence, and it hurts the interests of investors and industry insiders.”
The ministry’s Li said strengthening the protection of the copyrights is a must. It’s necessary to improve the competitiveness of the country’s movie industry, he said.