China to Crack Down on Copyright Infringement Through NFTs

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Authorities in China are going after creators of digital collectibles based on other people’s works of art, the use of which was not authorized. The government offensive is part of a campaign to combat online copyright infringement and piracy with the participation of several departments.

Regulators in China Move to Strengthen Copyright Supervision of Online Platforms

The National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) has recently launched a campaign against copyright infringement and piracy on the internet, together with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Internet Information Office of the People’s Republic.

A major objective of the initiative is to improve copyright supervision of online businesses by investigating cases involving the sale and distribution of infringing products on short video, live broadcast and e-commerce platforms, and promptly dealing with infringing content, the agency announced in a press release on Friday.

The NCAC is especially worried about growing problems with copyright protection stemming from the activities of a vast number of entities operating with innovative technologies. One of the areas where the watchdog wants to increase oversight is the issuance of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The authority said it plans to “severely crack down on the unauthorized use of other people’s works of art, music, animation, games, film, and television to create NFTs, make digital collections and sell pirated scripts through the Internet.”

The agency is convinced that progress in that direction can be made by strengthening the entire online copyright chain, promoting regulatory standards and imposing penalties. It insists this would accelerate the establishment of a market-oriented, legalized and international business environment, and provide the copyright support needed to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation.

While allowing their issuance, China has been trying to curb speculation with NFTs. Tech giants like Tencent and Ant Group have cooperated with Beijing and distanced themselves from the crypto-related term “non-fungible tokens,” opting for the more generic “digital collectibles.” In April, reports indicated that the popular Chinese messaging app Wechat is suspending accounts linked to NFTs.

Do you think China will be able to limit copyright infringement related to non-fungible tokens? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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