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China to get new internet copyright law

China is drafting its first internet-specific laws to protect copyright on-line for the benefit of copyright owners both in China and abroad. It follows concerns of confusion expressed last month when China’s Supreme People’s Court ruled to extend existing copyright laws to the internet.15 Jan 2001

Under the new proposal, fines will be substantially increased from the limits set out in the country’s existing 10 year-old copyright provisions.

Anyone who cancels or alters an author’s works without permission shall be guilty of an offence. It will also be an offence to break encryption set by copyright owners. In addition, the property rights attributed to the copyright owner will be strengthened.

The new legislation will also introduce a crime of deleting or changing other people’s system access restrictions without authorisation and cover illegal access to computer systems or on-line works, according to a report in Friday’s South China Morning Post.