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China’s largest search engine signs agreement to reduce online IP infringement

China’s biggest internet search engine signs an agreement on copyright protection collaboration.

China’s biggest internet search engine Baidu has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Copyright Protection Collaboration with the International Publishers Copyright Coalition (IPCC).

The creative industries are vitally important for both the UK and China. Creative industries – including publishing, music, film, TV and gaming software – together account for over 5% of GDP in both the UK and China, respectively.

Over a third of British publishing industry total revenues (£4.3 billion in 2014) come from digital sales and around 40% from exports. This MOU sets out a programme of collaboration to tackle the shared issue of online IP infringement. Industry initiatives such as this are vital to support the international IP framework.

The signing was witnessed by Dr Ros Lynch, Director of Copyright and Enforcement at the UK Intellectual Property Office, who is visiting for UK-China Copyright week. The co-operation indicates a positive direction for IP enforcement in China, with digital industry getting behind efforts to reduce online infringements.

Dr Lynch is visiting China for a week of cooperation activities on copyright protection and IP enforcement. She will meet Chinese government and law enforcement counterparts, and is accompanied by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Ratcliffe of the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Dr Lynch said:

Our work is fundamentally underpinned by industry engagement. In the UK, we recognise that government and legislation can only reach so far. It is important that rights holders and Internet platforms work together to help protect IP.

The benefits of an efficient and fair global IP system are huge, for both the UK and China. This MOU today represents a great step towards this, creating a collaboration which will lead to faster and streamlined approaches to tackling a global problem.

Emma House, Director of Publisher Relations at the UK Publishers Association, said:

As one of the sponsors of the IPCC, we warmly welcome the MOU with Baidu signed during UK-China Copyright Week. This demonstrates Baidu’s commitment to working with global rights holders to tackle copyright infringement for mutual benefit.

We look forward to the implementation of the MOU and continuing dialogue with Baidu in the future to build on collaboration opportunities in the field of IP protection.

Dr Lynch and her delegation will visit Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. In addition to supporting the IPCC-Baidu MOU, discussions in China will include:

  • exchanging IP enforcement best-practice, including online copyright initiatives such as the Infringing Website List and cross-border joint operations to tackle counterfeit goods
  • policy topics related to China’s ongoing Copyright Law revisions including on collective licensing, artist resale right, exceptions and limitations to copyright and music/audiovisual rights
  • a UK-China IP Salon event on Women in Intellectual Property as part of the British Embassy Beijing Be Yourself women’s empowerment campaign