China's Internet intellectual property game plan

Earlier this year China’s National Copyright Administration (NCA) – yes there is such an agency – launched the first phase of the construction of a monitoring platform for the violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) on the Chinese Internet.

The platform is expected to have an automatic search system for music and film products that are being broadcasted online without permission. Once it has detected such products, it will send a notice to the relevant websites and ask them to delete them.

This is theoretically good news to holders of IPRs. China is¬†famous for repeated infringments of IP in the “real world” (pirate DVDs, softwares and even iphones) so one could reasonably assume that it could spread to the web – the difference is that when it comes to the Internet, the Chinese government has been running a very tight operation. Problem is that the Chinese courts have been giving mixed signals about music infringments on the Internet with domestic ISPs and portals getting off lightly compared to foreign ones. Let’s hope that this time the dots are aligned.