Major domains agree to stop providing access

BEIJING — Some 50 Chinese websites, including China.com.cn, People.com.cn and 163.com, have agreed to stop providing access to pirated movies.

Move was brokered by the Movie Copyright Protection Assn. of China. Instead, the sites will co-operate with Quacor.com, a legal online movie provider, said spokesman Lai Bin.

The org said about 30,000 Chinese websites provide access to visual arts. In a recent survey, the org discovered that more than 61% of Chinese Web users watch movies online without paying.

Li Guomin, vice-chairman of the association, said the growth of the market for online pirated movies is damaging the country’s local film industry and is jeopardizing its development.

“If these infringements continue, producers might simply stop making movies altogether. And then 162 million Chinese netizens will lose the service they have now,” Li said.

The Motion Picture of America has repeatedly said that piracy could damage local film industries as much, or more, than it dents Hollywood revenues.

Late November, Quacor sued two Chinese websites, Tudou.com, a YouTube-like website, and Xunlei.com, an online music and movie provider, for illegally offering downloads of helmer Jiang Wen’s “The Sun Also Rises.”

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