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China has been making continuous efforts to protect copyrights for online literature, including introducing a revised copyright law and increasing the awareness of industry players toward copyright protections.

Last year, China's top legislature adopted the latest amendment to the country's copyright law, which will come into force on June 1, 2021, and is expected to ensure the better protection of online literature copyrights.

The revision further improves stipulations on the protection of copyrights for various works, including online literature, in the realm of cyberspace. It also refines the functions of copyright law enforcement departments, stipulating that the authorities shall have the power to inquire with the parties concerned, investigate illegal acts, conduct onsite inspections, consult and copy relevant materials and close down relevant places and confiscate goods during their investigations.

China attached greater importance to copyright protection last year, said Yan Xiaohong, president of the Copyright Society of China, adding that the country is accelerating the process for building itself into a copyright powerhouse over the next five years.

Meanwhile, industry players in China’s online literature domain have intensified their efforts to resolve issues involving the piracy of internet-based literature, which has become a hard nut to crack in the internet era as information technology has continued to expand and improve.

The total revenue generated by the country’s online literature market hit 28.84 billion yuan ($4.45 billion) in 2020.

China Literature Limited, a pioneer in the online literature market, has long been working hard to fight piracy. It has set up an anti-piracy team and has continuously improved its technical monitoring mechanisms to monitor piracy activities on a weekly basis and to take any judicial measures as needed accordingly.

The company, one of the founding members of an online literature copyright protection alliance, issued a notice to recruit more industrial peers and introduce more measures to crack down on the piracy of online literature in June 2020. The company also stressed its unremitting efforts to carry out campaigns against piracy in the notice.

Cheng Wu, CEO of China Literature Limited, suggested that regulatory departments should actively adapt to the development of new technologies, such as blockchain technology, and speed up the improvement of rules for the application of new technologies in the area of intellectual property protection.

Cheng also called on judicial departments and law enforcement departments to collect evidence by applying blockchain technology, which can guarantee that data is not tampered with due to its decentralized and open distributed ledger properties, so as to resolve the difficult problems associated with the copyright protection of online literature.

Readers themselves should also join in the effort to better protect the copyright of online literature, according to Gong Jianghui, an associate professor for the Business School at Beijing Normal University, who is also an online writer. 

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