China Internet sites ink IPR pledge

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Fifty Chinese Web sites have agreed to stop offering pirated movies online, signing an agreement initiated by the Movie Copyright Protection Association of China, local media reported Thursday.

MCPAC data showed that 61% of China's 172 million Internet users watched free movies online last year, led by university students and white-collar workers.

China.com.cn, 163.com and People.com.cn — the Web site of People's Daily, the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper — were among the signatories to the agreement made Tuesday.

"The Internet is a revolutionary way to get access to the visual arts, but the public has to be made more aware of the need for copyright protection," Li Guomin, MCPAC vice-chair told the China Daily.

"If these infringements continue, producers might simply stop making movies altogether," Li said.

The reports made no mention of punishments or fines established for violators.
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