China, a country highly known for strict digital policies, has now decided to take actions against groups involved in movie piracy. China’s Ministry of Public Security stated their decision as “an inevitable requirement for improving the competitiveness of China’s film and television industry.”
Therefore, on Monday, 29th of April, in a press conference in Yangzhou, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said that they conducted a crackdown in which they targeted movie piracy suspects. During the operation, the police had closed down 361 movie piracy websites and 57 applications. They in total arrested 251 suspects who were involved in such illegal activities.
When the three local hit movies including Wandering Earth, Flying Life, and Crazy Alien, had their pirated versions available online, the Chinese Ministry got alarmed and decided to work against movies piracy.
“Concerned about the issue, the rapid deployment and deployment of local public security organs carried out a chain of project inquiries against…film infringement and piracy in the Spring Festival and rapidly identified and resolutely smashed the production medium and online communication network of the HD pirated movies,” the conference stated.
In just a specific region, the police arrested around 59 suspects, and seized more than 13,600 equipment. These included servers and hardware used to make such movies.
The authorities closed an app known as the Twist Film. A report shows that the app had around 100 million users. They arrested all the suspects whether they were in China or overseas. Local authorities were deployed to Beijing to shut down all movie piracy apps and websites.
Wandering Earth was released on February 5, and within two days, on the 7th an illegal HD version was found online. The producer Gong Geer, instantly reported this to the government and the reaction during the first week of the Spring Festival was defined as “an anti-piracy war.” The producer stated “As a producer, we must have faith that the relevant departments can help us in law and policy. The one thing we can do is to produce work with all honesty”.
The National Copyright Administration took strict actions and in March made a list of movies which should be given special protection. The list included US movies Green Room and Captain Marvel. Online content providers were ordered not to host these movies, and online storage providers were asked to prevent any uploads.
Surprisingly a week ago Avengers Endgame was found online two days before it was released in the U.S. No doubt, the copies were not of HD quality, but such an illegal act won’t stay hidden.