China Seizes Websites, Clamps Down On Speech... Uses Copyright Infringement As The Excuse

from the but-of-course dept

We noted recently that China had promised the US it would ramp up efforts to "stop online piracy" in China, though at about the same time, we also had noted that it had ramped up its online censorship apparatus. Once again, the two things go hand in hand, as China has shut down hundreds of sites, and put greater restrictions on the web, increasing the overall censorship via The Great Firewall of China. And... it's using copyright law as the excuse. Apparently some of the websites seized were distributing infringing files, so now China can claim that it's just doing the same thing the US is doing, when it puts massive restrictions on the internet and seizes websites.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Hank, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Right, yet Alibaba is alowed to continue operations with theives rampant - both in false deals and in intellectual property.
    http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/218976725/fishing_reel.html
    That picture clearly shows a reel stamped as "Penn
    International"

     

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  2.  
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    A Dan (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    Finally!

    Now, with Chinese infringement shut down, they will spend the thousands of dollars per year on our movies, music, and software that they have been stealing.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 4:50pm

    Any evidence that the seized sites weren't engaged in infringing?

     

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  4.  
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    Fzzr (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Just so...

    They are doing what the US is doing, they're just doing it in a self-aware manner. 1984 quotes go here, boot stomping, human face, etc.

     

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  5.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 5:08pm

    I think you're being unfair to the Chinese Mike. Unlike ICE, they did not violate their citizens' constitutional rights when they took those websites down.

     

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  6.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 5:13pm

    Re:

    I guess that would kind of depend on your definition of the word "infringing."

    If you're the type that considers this:

    www.mediafire.com

    to be possible infringement, then I suppose you might have a point, however badly made.

    There were also a lot of porn sites taken down for reasons I assume had nothing to do with infringement.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    I find it quite interesting that these sites were shut down first, then you ask if they can prove that they were *not* infringing.

    As a thought experiment: prove to us that you are not in possession of a fairy princess with a wardrobe full of sparkly mushroom dresses. That seems quite outlandish to me, so it should be easy to prove, right?

    But how could you truly prove that you do not possess something? What could you show us that we could not then say "perhaps the princess is in another castle?"

    Perhaps I misunderstood your comment, and I certainly don't know the full story beyond the snippet above, but I find the recent trend of "prove you are innocent" to be quite disturbing. If these sites truly were "infringing" in some way, wouldn't it be a simple matter of proving that they were with evidence?

     

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  8.  
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    Qritiqal (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

    totalitarian government

    This is JUST the type of thing I'd expect from a totalitarian government!!!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Bob, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    theyre afriad of Pro-democracy rallies in china, they need another yellow turban uprising! down with contaminated food! down with child slave labor!
    i do admire things from china and thier culture but they need to end their evil communist regime

    and cheating at the 2008 summer olympics in beijing is also low!

     

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  10.  
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    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Whoa! Slow down there buckaroo, surely you must realize by now that if you're on the internet you're probably guilty of something, like copyright infringement or murder.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:28pm

    Evidence

    We don't need no steenking evidence! We're the Chinese government! You are guilty if we say you are guilty! Selective enforcement is all the go here. Get used to it!

    Of course, if you are good friends with the local Party boss, and -- you know -- there is a continuing flow of "donations" and "gifts", well we can all be friends. No charges would ever have been brought. Isn't that a lovely system? Wouldn't you like to have one just like it in America? You are working on it? Good for you!

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    FMHilton, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    Sounds all too familiar

    Guess they must have seen the ICE takedowns and decided it was a great idea, no?
    Or else we're copying them. Whatever.

     

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  14.  
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    umccullough (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

    Did they use the ICE seizure page?

    I half expect to find the ICE seizure page in use on all the China-seized websites...

     

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  15.  
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    Jason, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Re:

    Any notion of burden of proof (I'm guessing probably so).

    Well, China's notions are more differenter.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Did they use the ICE seizure page?

    I actually just started having an ICE seizure while reading this. It was terrible! I just sat there convulsively beating my chest with a smug, uninformed expression on my face.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Did they use the ICE seizure page?

    And yes the big difference was the chest thumping.

     

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  18.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

    Re:

    Yeah! Go Capitalism! Wait...what's the difference again?

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Finally!

    "they will spend the thousands of dollars per year on our movies, music, and software that they have been stealing."

    To funny. The CIA fact book says the per capita salary in china is $7,600. With a US style 5% entertainment budget, thats about $380 USD a year.

    Or if you do the numbers thats 780 million people times $380 USD per person a year or $296,400,000,000 US Dollars. Oh my god they are stealing almost a third of a trillion dollars from the US entertainment industry!!!!

    Oh wait ... world wide the entertainment industry only makes about a tenth of that.

    Thank you for your patience in reading my industry math lesson. ;)

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Evidence

    Working on it? Hell, I would say that we are ALREADY THERE, to be quite blunt on the subject.

     

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  21.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Did they use the ICE seizure page?

    That's Tuesday to me.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Dread, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 12:11am

    Constitution

    Article 35 of the Constitution of the PRC would seem to apply here as it is their "freedom of speech" article. However, depending on how you read it (and the Communist Party -- who are in power and wish to remain in power -- will read it this way) articles 51, 52, 53 and 54 can easily be used to trump any (and all) other articles. These 4 articles essentially translate to "the good of the many outweighs the good of the one" (in my reading).

     

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  23.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 15th, 2011 @ 6:54am

    Re:

    If they allow posting of any kind of messages that could potentially include links to infringing content then they are "enablers and facilitators". (Those are the words of copyright supporters here.)

    They accuse Google of being an "enabler and facilitator". If Google is a "rogue" website for merely linking (and automatically at that) to sites that actually host infringing material, then anyone can be considered a "rogue" site that is an "enabler and facilitator".

    But go after the actual site that is actually hosting infringing material? Heavens No! That would undermine the ability to continue to sue other "rogue" "enablers and facilitators" like Yahoo and Bing. Gee, this starts to sound very RightHaven like.

     

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  24.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 15th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re: Constitution

    It works similar here. We have the 1st, 4th, 5th and other amendments.

    To neutralize those (or to be "balanced") we have the PATRIOT act, and soon the PROTECT-IP act.

    Also government agencies can obtain secret letters to do just about anything they want; under rules that make due process more "flexible"; that secretly "expedite" prosecution; and that make it a crime to even reveal that you have been targeted / prosecuted / persecuted. To make matters {better|worse} secret evidence can be used against you at a show trial, the proceedings of which are of course also secret.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Of course, this story is posted up to try to imply that any move by the US to shut down scamming, copyright violating, dishonest websites is some form of communist censorship.

    Got it. Can we get an amen from the choir?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Finally!

    You say "Our movies, music and software"... Who is "Our"?

     

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  27.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 9:19pm

    I always thought that China had a bit of a "We don't care" attitude to the policies the rest of the world would like to impose on them. Funny then to see them using the same "We must live up to our international obligations" line seen so often in the West.

     

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  28.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 9:23pm

    Re:

    If the actions are identical, then it is quite easy to draw a comparison. Much like people who oppose the death penalty call it murder.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Whistle Blower, Jun 19th, 2011 @ 9:30pm

    Re:

    Evidence of innocence?
    lol the worst part it that this is actually most moron's way of thinking, along with the justice system.
    The burden of proof lies with the state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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