Mainland China copyright watchdog monitors Apple and Amazon

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 June, 2013, 5:39am

Technology giants Apple and Amazon will come under scrutiny from the mainland copyright watchdog in its yearly campaign against online piracy.

The pair, along with local leaders including Taobao, would have to report on their measures for protecting copyright and handling complaints filed by copyright holders, the National Copyright Administration said. Officials would crack down on uploading and disseminating content without permission and selling pirated products on e-commerce platforms, it said.

The anti-piracy campaign comes after pirated books were found on sale on Amazon, which was recently ordered to shut down third-party stores and monitor them more effectively, Xinhua reported.

The four-month campaign will also see the watchdog's scrutiny extending to music videos for the first time. Major video portals like Baidu, Tencent and Sina have been included in an initial list of 24 websites to be monitored.

Zuo Zhijian, who wrote an app that allows users of Apple gadgets to read while networking with others, said: "Counterfeited content used to be all over the place in Apple's app store in China, but recently there's a bit less of it. I think Apple has put in some work trying to clean the store up after being under pressure for so long."

Twenty-two Chinese writers have sued Apple for copyright violations since January last year, claiming their work was sold without a licence in its online store. In April, Apple had to pay three of them 730,000 yuan (HK$917,000) in damages. In two other cases, Apple had to pay a combined 1.5 million yuan in compensation.

They have also waged campaigns against Baidu and Google.