Move may signal crackdown on copyright breaches in China

BEIJING — Free music and movie download services at one of China’s most popular download sites, VeryCD, were blocked in recent days in a move that could signal a crackdown on copyright breaches in China.

Access to music channels and movie clips at VeryCD, which registers up to three million hits a day, have either been blocked or automatically diverted to other web pages since Saturday.

Downloading functions on other smaller peer-to-peer file-sharing sites have also been suspended.

Local media in China has reported that more than 400 peer-to-peer file-sharing sites, including Btchina, China’s top media file-sharing website, have been shut down during the last two years.

Huang Yimeng, CEO of VeryCD, told the Global Times newspaper that the suspension was aimed at avoiding copyright disputes, and he denied reports that the site would be shut down.

“The regulations are getting stricter and we’re not able to legally provide a similar amount of content as before. That’s why we have to change our content offering,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

In August last year, VeryCD and other sites were sued by Dasheng Intl. Media studio and the China Film Copyright Protection Assn. for providing links to pirated copies of the chopsocky pic “Ip Man 2.”

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