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China pirate crackdown intensifies

Government closes 205 sites in three months

BEIJING — As part of ongoing efforts to remake its image as a piracy haven, China has closed 205 Web sites in the past three months during a crackdown on illegal downloads of music and films and investigated 436 cases, a top copyright official said Thursday.

Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, told a news conference that in the three months ended Jan. 31, officials carried out 130 of those investigations at the request of foreign biz orgs and ordered 361 offenders to stop their infringements.

“Piracy of intellectual property on the Internet has seriously harmed the interests of copyright owners, leading to a large number of disputes — and thus disrupted the orderliness of the Internet,” Yan said.

During the action, authorities had imposed fines of $91,000, confiscated 71 servers and transferred six cases to courts for prosecution. One of those had led to a conviction, he said.

Prominent cases included sites that offered downloads of software, textbooks, music and television shows. In one case, all the Internet cafes in the northeastern city of Changchun were found to be linked into a database of pirated films.

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