Chinese police bust film piracy criminal gangs

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-29 22:14:40|Editor: Li Xia
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NANJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- A total of 25 cases of film copyright infringement and piracy have been solved in a crackdown on bootlegging of films screened in cinemas during the week-long Spring Festival holiday in February, China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced Monday.

The police arrested 251 suspects, closed 361 websites and 57 apps, and seized seven servers for producing high-definition pirated movies and 14,000 pieces of equipment, the MPS said at a press conference held in Yangzhou in east China's Jiangsu Province.

Police from Jiangsu busted sources for producing pirated movies and sales networks, and seized 13,673 pieces of equipment including a server that had been sought by police for three years.

Police said that since 2017, four suspects have copied movies, added watermarks to them, encrypted them and uploaded them onto cloud drives. The suspects provided tens of thousands of pirated movies to film-bars that had paid the suspects for membership, making profits from illegal screenings.

Police from east China's Zhejiang Province destroyed the app that spread the highest number of pirated films. Police from Henan, Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangxi also busted criminal gangs or illegal websites and apps.

According to incomplete statistics, the bootlegging of the eight films screened during the Spring Festival holiday, including sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth," which took second place in the country's all-time box office, incurred losses of around 787 million yuan to cinemas and legal video platforms.

Directors and actors Wu Jing, Huang Bo and Shen Teng, as well as director and writer Han Han attended the press conference. They said the crackdown on piracy protects the rights and interests of filmmakers and benefits the sound development of the industry.

In recent years, authorities including the MPS and National Copyright Administration have been cracking down on copyright infringement on the Internet under the "Sword Net" campaign.

The MPS said it will work with copyright and film administrations to improve industry supervision and build online supervision and management capacities with other departments.