China launches ‘strict’ operation against copyright infringers


China launches ‘strict’ operation against copyright infringers

Kheng Guan Toh /

Four government agencies in China have jointly-launched a new campaign targeting copyright infringement on the internet.

On Friday, April 26, state-run news agency Xinhua reported the launch of Sword Net 2019, which will focus on “paraphrasing plagiarism” and illegal activities by image agencies.

The four agencies are the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA), the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security.

The operation will run from the end of April to the end of October this year.

One of the top priorities of the campaign is to boost copyright protection in the photography market. The agencies said illegal distribution of copyright-protected images will be strictly monitored, and licences to use these images will be checked for legitimacy.

Additionally, the campaign will address scenarios where image agencies are improperly claiming rights on images.

As part of the campaign, the agencies vowed to crack down on the unauthorised reproduction of news from media outlets. The campaign will also target plagiarism and distortion of news by social media accounts.

According to officials, illegal filming and recording in cinemas and the spread of pirated films and television content via the internet will be “strictly dealt with”.

This also includes the distribution of pirated content via smart devices and streaming media software. 

In a statement, the NIPA said Sword Net 2019 “will strengthen copyright law enforcement and supervision and respond to the challenges brought by 5G, artificial intelligence and other new technologies”.

China, copyright infringement, National Intellectual Property Administration, Cyberspace Administration of China

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