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China cracks down on mobile piracy

Beijing Government forms new anti-piracy group

Aiming to tackle the rise in mobile piracy in China and proposing tough new measures against software pirates, a new anti-piracy group has been formed with the help of several mobile game developers.

The new group comprises officials from the Beijing Municipal Copyright Department, Beijing Municipal Intellectual Copyright Department, the Shijingshan District Government and more than eighty mobile phone game developers.

The group's broad remit will ensure that it can successfully target ISPs offering illegal services, manufacturers and developers who provide tools that enable and encourage piracy, and websites and WAP portals that have not properly registered, or knowingly provide pirate software for download.

According to a report on ChinaTechNews.com, the new group, which will work on enforcing anti-piracy regulations in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, has already identified approximately sixty websites and WAP portals that contain more than 10,000 types of pirated games and applications for the wireless market.

The Chinese mobile market is currently experiencing massive, rapid growth, boosted by the investment in upgrading its 2.5G network to 3G over the coming three years. Current growth projections estimate that the country will reach almost 600 million mobile subscribers by 2009, with mobile gaming accounting for a significant portion of revenue generated by that growth.

Whilst the report makes no specific mention of exactly what legal measures are being put into place for convicted software pirates, it is likely that severe penalties will be incurred for any prosecuted parties, as the newly formed group ramps up its efforts to clean up the mobile gaming market.

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